By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
Cory Henley is a known commodity throughout District 8-AA.
As a three-year starter and All-District performer, Henley has earned a reputation as one of the top guards in the league.
District 8-AA newcomer Macon County may not have been as familar as a first-year foe; however, they were introduced when Henley poured in 17 points to lead the Lions to a 59-44 win in the league opener for both teams Tuesday (Dec. 3).
Henley's 17 led a balanced attack as the Lions (8-1, 1-0) opened league play in style. Garrett McReynolds was the only other Lion in double figures with 10. Austin Martin was strong off of the bench. The sophomore forward scored nine points on 3-of-3 shooting. Jacob Nave added six points and 11 rebounds. Marshall McReynolds and Tanner Larson also scored six each in the victory.
"We didn't know much about Macon County going in because they had only played three games and we hadn't had a chance to scout them," Cannon County Head Coach Matt Rigsby said. "Macon County is solid defensively and caused us some fits offensively at times. It is a district game and we are thrilled to get the win."
Cannon County shot a sizzling 57 percent (28-of-49) from the field while limiting Macon County to a paltry 26 percent (15-of-57) from the field, including a dismal 2-of-23 from 3-point range.
"Our defense is key for us," Nave said. "As long as we are playing solid defense and controlling the boards then we have a chance to be in games. We have the potential to put up points and shoot well but our defense and rebounding is the key."
The Lions smothered Macon County from the outset and built a 34-16 halftime lead. They didn't let up in the second half as they stretched the advantage to 46-27 by the end of the third quarter and never looked back.
Also factoring into the scoring for the Lions were A.J. Daniel with three points and Tommy Mitchell with two.