By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
BAXTER - Games against Dana McWilliams’ teams are never easy.
No. 3 Cannon County made it look easier than it was during a 71-46 punishing of Upperman here Friday (Jan. 10).
The Lionettes (20-2, 5-1) broke open a close game at halftime to roll to an easy win and keep alive their hopes of a District 8-AA title.
“Winning at Upperman is never an easy task,” Lionettes Head Coach Michael Dodgen said. “We knew it would be tough and it was. This was a quality district road win for our team.”
Abbey Sissom led the Lionettes with 22 points, followed by Madison Walkup with 13, Autumn King and Erin McReynolds with nine each, Rebekah Faulkner with eight and Macy Clements with six.
Upperman hung tough early.
The game saw six lead changes and seven ties in a first half that saw the Lionettes clinging to a 27-23 halftime lead.
In fact, the game was tied 21-21 before Walkup helped lead a run that closed the half with the Lionettes on top.
And then came the second half.
The Lionettes exploded in the second half and led 53-34 entering the fourth quarter. 26-11 run all but ended the game and took the wind out of Upperman’s upset bid.
“We had a strong second half were we were able to use our defense to create some offense and it got us going,” Walkup said. “It is always tough to win at Upperman so this was a good road win for us. We didn’t play our best, but we did enough to win and that’s always good.”
The Lionettes were the third highest-scoring team in the state coming into the game and scored two more than their 69 point per game average.
They play host to Livingston Acad. Tuesday.