SUMMERTOWN – If, as Catie Embrey says, the Summertown girls basketball team is “the total package”, then Katie Burdette may be the bow.
The 6-2 junior post scored a team-high 14 points – and was as prolific on the boards – Tuesday night as the Lady Eagles defeated visiting Page 66-52.
“She probably had a double-double (double digits in scoring and rebounding). She’s really good at reading where the ball is coming off,” Embrey said of Burdette following the team’s third win in as many outings.
“They played zone (defense); nobody was responsible for her, so that left her available to go to the ball.”
Perhaps, rather than the bow holding the package together, Burdette is the gift box within the gift box.
“It’s nice, knowing she can get a bucket in multiple ways, and the guards are great about finding her,” Embrey said. “But also defensively, when they send kids to the middle, she’s there. She protects the paint and does a great job for us.”
Against a taller, talented Class AAA team, Burdette made her presence felt on both ends of the floor throughout the night – scoring in the low post and converting offensive rebounds into points, as well as disrupting the Lady Patriots’ attack.
Summertown took a 19-6 lead before the end of the opening quarter, but Page rallied with nine straight points to end the period and tied the game at 22-all on an Abigail Ward 3-pointer midway through the second quarter.
Burdette scored from point-blank range, then followed a Jenna Brazier 3 with a putback to help spark an 11-0 run, and the Lady Eagles never looked back.
“Their size and speed – we have to make sure we understand, offensively. We’ve got to shorten our passes,” Embrey said. “We’ve got to do a better job handling pressure.”
That aside, Summertown held up well despite a 23-point outing from Page’s Lili Wilken.
Seven different Lady Eagles scored, including Hailey Jones (12 points) and Brazier and Ansley Burleson with 11 points and three treys each.
“With our depth and size, I think we’re the total package.”
Inside/outside attack frustrates Eagles: Page’s senior ‘twin towers’ – 6-10 Jaime Hernandez and 6-5 Thomas Seamen – teamed for 33 points to offset Gavin Burleson’s 31 points and push their team past the hosts 73-65 in the nightcap.
“I’ll be interested to see where they finish,” Summertown coach Wes Long said regarding the District 11-AAA Patriots. “With their size, and the way they shoot it, they’re a tough matchup, especially for us.”
Page took control of the contest in the early moments, as Ethan Overstreet hit four 3-pointers in the first six minutes and Seamen scored 10 of his team-high 21 points before halftime. The Patriots led by as many as nine points in the opening half, but a late surge keyed by Gavin Burleson’s seven points made it a 35-33 game at intermission.
Leading by six, 52-46, at the end of the third quarter, Page kept the Eagles at bay down the stretch behind three timely Seamen treys in the final eight minutes.
“Their size wound up being the difference, the way they can get it off the glass,” Long said. “But we’ve still got to execute and make our free throws at the end.”
Next up: Summertown’s girls take on the host RedHawks at Friday’s Stewarts Creek Thanksgiving Classic. Summertown’s boys are idle until Tullahoma visits Dec. 1 for the first of three homecourt doubleheaders over five days.
LEIPERS FORK — Andy Slaughter wasn’t going to be denied his first win at Grace Christian on Tuesday night. The junior guard for Santa Fe poured in 32 points and grabbed 12 boards to lead his team to a 65-54 win over the Lions.
After Grace took its first lead of the second half just 10 seconds into the fourth quarter and pushed the lead to four points, Slaughter took over. He hit a jumper to end an 8-0 run, cutting the lead to 46-44, and added two free throws, a steal and lay up to put the Wildcats ahead 49-46. That was the beginning of a 16-0 run for Santa Fe, one which coach Brad Slaughter was relieved to see come late.
“It was a very physical game tonight,” he said. “Andy was tired, but when we needed it he came through for us.
“A lot of guys made big plays down the stretch for us.”
Among those with big plays in the fourth quarter was Colton Steward, who finished with 17 points in the contest. He was also a force on the defensive side of the ball.
“Colton stepped up tonight and had a really big night after struggling in our opener,” coach Slaughter said. “He was a difference-maker tonight for us.”
Santa Fe opened up the game with an early lead, but Grace battled back and tied the game at 11 on a CJ Tinnon 3-pointer and then took a 14-11 lead to the end of the quarter on a Will Beasley trey. The Lions dropped 10 3-pointers in the contest, but only four in the second half.
“I thought what we saw in the second half was a much better defensive effort,” coach Slaughter said. “When we defend, we’re really good. I thought we played excellent defense in stretches and terrible in stretches.
“When we can get our defense figured out, we’ll be right where we want to be.”
The Wildcats are scheduled to return to action Dec. 1 at home against East Hickman.
Pressure forces Lady Cats to fall behind early in loss at Grace
A stellar performance by Emmy Bates was not enough for Santa Fe’s girls on Tuesday, as they fell 60-39 to Grace Christian. Bates finished with a game-high 20 points and added seven rebounds for the Lady Wildcats, but she was the lone bright spot for Jonathan Slaughter’s club.
Bates’ play after halftime helped Santa Fe cut into a 32-21 halftime lead for Grace. Behind her, the Lady ‘Cats dwindled the lead down to just five points, but Grace adjusted their defense to force someone else to take over.
“We adjusted to their press at halftime and were able to get (Bates) in the middle, and she made good decisions with the ball to help us get the lead down to five points,” Slaughter said. “But they went to a box-and-one on her, and we didn’t know what to do.”
Making adjustments in the huddle during a timeout doesn’t always translate to the playing floor, and that was the case for Santa Fe following the new-look defense from the Lady Lions.
“When they started denying her, our other girls didn’t make good decisions with the ball and we had a lot of turnovers,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting a box-and-one, so we haven’t worked on it in practice. We drew something up, but couldn’t execute it.
“With young players and teams like ours is, if you haven’t worked on it in practice, it’s hard to do it in a game.”
Santa Fe earned the double-bonus in the third quarter, but shot just 10-of-21 on the night from the charity stripe. The Lady ‘Cats were out scored 17-3 in the fourth quarter.
Natalie Kaye led Grace with 18 points in the game, one of only two players in double figures for the Lady Lions, the other being Charlie Black.
Santa Fe 65 boys, Grace Chr. 54
SF 11 19 12 23 — 65 GC 14 13 14 13 — 54
Santa Fe (65) — Will Monhollen 3, Logan Wilkins 2, Weston McClanahan 11, Colton Steward 17, Andy Slaughter 32 Grace Chr. (54) — Ashton Kelley 4, Will Beasley 10, Ren Caldwell 9, Jackson Hiett 5, CJ Tinnon 9, Jordan Carter 12, Jackson Sleeper 2, Trace Phillips 3 3-pointers — Santa Fe 3 (McClanahan 2, Slaughter), Grace Christian 10 (Caldwell 3, Beasley 2, Carter 2, Hiett, Tinnon, Phillips)
Grace Chr. girls 60, Santa Fe 39
SF9 12 15 3 — 39 GC15 17 11 17 — 60
Santa Fe (39) — Terralyn Pemberton 4, Gracie Mills 7, Emmy Bates 20, Aniston Slaughter 1, Hattie Hedrick 4, Jade Arnold 3 Grace Chr. (60) — Campbell Spencer 6, Natalie Kaye 18, McKenzie Kaye 7, Adyson Wolf 4, Charlie Black 11, Carlie Mason 8, Madelyn Gregg 6 3-pointers —Santa Fe 3 (Bates 2, Arnold), Grace Christian 3 (M. Kaye 2, N. Kaye)
FRANKLIN — Starting three sophomores and two freshmen, the Summit Spartans showed glimpses of the program’s bright future on Tuesday afternoon, but Smyrna pulled away late for a 51-40 win in the Cougar Classic at Centennial.
Centennial finished the game on a 15-2 run following an Alex Pollard 3-pointer from the corner that put Summit up 38-36 about midway through the final quarter.
“Whether it was fatigue set in, getting nervous or bad coaching, we just didn’t get it done,” Summit coach Jim Fey said.
Summit played with two of its starters in foul trouble for much of the game. Sophomore Marcus White picked up two early fouls in the first quarter and then two more in the third period, which forced him to sit longer than Fey would have liked. Jace Kirby also had four fouls, forcing the point guard to miss key minutes late.
Smyrna, which played an aggressive matchup zone through most of the game, switched defenses to a pressure man-to-man before their big run to take the lead. The Spartans failed to handle the pressure well, turning the ball over on three consecutive trips to open the fourth quarter.
“The only experience we’ve had is scrimmaging each other,” Fey said. “For us not to see anybody as athletic as they are until now, I think we made some mistakes we won’t make with more experienced players.”
Pollard led Summit with 13 points, including three long-range 3-pointers from the corners.
“Alex is a great shooter,” Fey said. “We had some of our best shooters on the floor, but two of them are freshmen. When you step out on the varsity floor for the first time, anything can happen.”
Pollard, Kirby and Bradley Stewart all hit early 3-pointers to put Summit up early, as they jumped ahead 11-4 to start the game. Smyrna rallied and took the lead 12-11 with 1:24 to go in the first, and they didn’t relinquish it until the Pollard trey late.
Fey said he hopes the rest of his team isn’t able to join him until after Dec. 4 when the state football championship games are played, but was also excited for the depth these games before they return will provide.
“In a perfect world, none of these kids would be playing varsity minutes, but you have to do what you have to do,” he said. “I don’t think we did the things we needed to do, but we didn’t have the experience to win the game.”
Smyrna 51, Summit 40 at Centennial HS
Sm 14 8 10 19 51 Su 11 11 7 11 40
Smyrna (51) — Schaffer Outlaw 2, BJ Lowe 4, TJ Lee 9, JP Colon 4, Chico McDowell 4, Ashton McCarver 12, Jayden Lucas 4, Laith Al Taie 9 Summit (40) — Andrew Smith 6, Bradley Stewart 10, Jace Kirby 3, Mason Harper 2, Derrick Smith 2, Marcus White 4, Alex Pollard 13
Columbia Academy’s Division II-A District 3 basketball doubleheader against visiting Middle Tennessee Christian has been postponed for pandemic-related reasons.
The game, originally set for Tuesday night, has yet to be rescheduled, according to CA athletics director Pernell Knox.
Middle Tennessee Christian’s girls team has been quarantined after being advised that a member of the Community team has tested positive for COVID-19. MTCS defeated Community 53-36 Monday in Unionville, with the unidentified Viqueen participating in that contest.
“We just felt it would be best to reschedule both the boys and girls games,” Knox said. “It’s early enough in the year that we can reschedule and play them both on a later date.”
With the postponement, Columbia Academy’s next scheduled games are Monday against visiting Athens (Ala.) Bible School in the first of four doubleheaders next week. CA is also set to play Dec. 1 at Fayetteville, with district twinbills following Dec. 3 against Providence Christian and Dec. 4 at Webb-Bell Buckle.
The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs have each won their first two games, against Riverside Christian and Jackson County.
Southern Middle Tennessee Sports
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