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Ramirez dials long distance twice as Lions win District 8-AAA title

By Maurice Patton

COLUMBIA – Against a defensive-minded Shelbyville team that forced a draw in the final District 8-AAA regular-season contest between the two, Columbia Central converted three free kicks Thursday night to earn the district tournament title with a 3-2 win over the visiting Golden Eagles.

Victor Ramirez put the Lions ahead twice from 30-plus yards out, placing a pair of longballs between the crossbar and Shelbyville goalkeeper Jared Ramos – the last with 12:07 remaining, before the Central defense held took control for the remainder of the contest.

“We had a couple of chances, but we usually create more chances,” Ramirez said after the victory. “They shut that down, so we relied on the set pieces to get it done.”

Columbia Central (16-2-1) defeated Shelbyville 3-0 in the season-opening match for both teams, before the Golden Eagles battled to a 2-2 tie on April 29 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium – the only league blemish for the regular-season champion Lions.

“The first time, they didn’t know our game plan,” Ramirez said. “They did a good job adjusting the second time. We knew we had to come out stronger, and we did. The score line shows it.”

Shelbyville (7-6-2), the tournament’s No. 2 seed, took a 1-0 lead less than six minutes into the game as Daniel Juarez guided a shot from the left side of the box past Central goalie Dane Holley and into the right corner of the goal.

From there, the visitors’ defensive approach created issues for the Lions – negating their speed by clogging the attacking area with virtually the entire team.

“They were dropping nine in whenever we attacked,” Central coach Greg Szydlowski said. “With the style we play, they made it difficult for us to find lanes.

“They played us the way they should have played us. They attacked our back line. It wasn’t one of our better games. It wasn’t as clean a first half. Our overall play was much better in the second half. You’ve got to be precise when you play the ball in the air, and we weren’t.”

Following a couple of Holley saves that prevented Shelbyville from extending the lead, Brandon Carrascoza scored the equalizer for Central near the midpoint of the first half on a free kick after a Golden Eagle foul.

That score held up into intermission, before Ramirez put the hosts ahead 2-1 with his direct kick from about 40 yards out just six minutes into the second half.

“I just look and see where the keeper is at, and I know where to hit it,” Ramirez said.

Shelbyville managed to even the contest when Noah Carballoso punched a rebound off the left post past Holley with 17:34 to play.

“We were out of position on the first goal,” Szydlowski said. “They pressed the whole game. You’ve got to give them credit for the second goal.”

The deadlock set the stage for Ramirez’s gamewinner, following another Shelbyville foul.

“Hat’s off to them; they’ve got a lot of talent,” Golden Eagles coach Chris Fritz said. “With a guy like Ramirez, any foul can be dangerous. He can put them away.”

“You don’t want to give Vic any opportunity from a free-kick standpoint,” Szydlowski said. “He’s special. It’s not like we practice that.”

With the win, Columbia Central is set to host Stewarts Creek – which fell 2-0 to Oakland in the District 7-AAA finals – in Tuesday’s Region 4-AAA semifinal. Shelbyville will travel Tuesday to Oakland.

Courtesy photos by Buffy Holt

8-AAA all-district team named

SM-Tn Sports

District 8-AAA boys soccer coaches recently selected their all-district team and superlative award winners, with regular-season champion Columbia Central taking a number of honors.

Lions sophomore goalie Dane Holley was named 8-AAA goalkeeper of the year, with juniors Victor Ramirez and Brewer Wall recognized as the league’s top midfielder and forward, respectively. Central’s Greg Szydlowski was honored as the district coach of the year.

The full list of selections follows:

All-District first team – Emilio Contreras, John Martinez (Coffee Co.); Brandon Carrascoza, Mason Hollandsworth, Kameron Smith (Columbia Central); Rylan Banks, Camden Eslick (Franklin Co.); Santana Carrillo, Sammy Gantes (Lincoln Co.); Yahir Cervantes, Dyson Collins, Cristian Ramos (Shelbyville).

All-District second team – Joseph Galindo, Bodey Todd (Coffee Co.); Randy Gray, Collin Rowe, Raul Sarabia (Columbia Central); Brad Simmons, Caleb Tubb (Franklin Co.); Damian Castaneda, John Sharp (Lincoln Co.); Edgar Solis, Ryan Tacuba, Pepe Vargas (Shelbyville).

Goalkeeper of the Year – Dane Holley, Columbia Central; Defender of the Year – Eduardo AJ, Shelbyville; Midfielder of the Year – Victor Ramirez, Columbia Central; Forward of the Year – Brewer Wall, Columbia Central; Freshman of the Year – Kolby Themm, Shelbyville; Coach of the Year – Greg Szydlowski, Columbia Central.

Weekend on the diamonds, pitch

SM-Tn Sports

Spring Hill 6, Brentwood 0: Jackson Marbet and Quent Mizer hit home runs for Spring Hill on Sunday when the Raiders downed Brentwood. Marbet had a two-run blast, while Mizer’s was a three-run shot. Dawson Hargrove was solid on the bump, going six innings and striking out 13 in the game. Brantly Whitwell worked a perfect seventh as well with a pair of strikeouts.

Lawrence Co. 10, Summertown 7: A seven-run first inning propelled Lawrence County to a full season sweep of their county rivals with the final win coming over Summertown on Saturday. All seven of the Wildcats’ runs came with two outs. Zack Graves doubled, Grant James, Camden Bosheers, Bryson Mcfall and Ayden Luffman each singled in the inning. Three walks and a hit-by-pitch also contributed to the scoring. Summertown scored three in the second and a pair in the fifth to cut into the lead, but Lawrence County answered with a pair of its own. Colton Moore was 2-for-3 for the ‘Cats and drove in three runs. McFall added a pair of RBIs as well. Grant Burleson was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs for Summertown. Gavin Burleson drove in three runs for the Eagles.

Page 11, Columbia Central 4: Eston Snider hit a homer in the first inning to set the tone early for Page on Saturday. After Columbia Central took a run lead in the first, the Pats opened up for three in the bottom half. Central saw Konner Bowden go deep in the fifth as well. Hudson Adams gave up five runs in two innings and struck out two taking the loss.

Spring Hill 7, Shelbyville 4: Quent Mizer took a pitch to the body with the bases loaded of a tie game in the fifth inning to bring in the eventual winning run for Spring Hill on Friday. Brantley Whitwell was 3-for-4 in the game with an RBI. Brandon O’Brien added a pair of RBIs as well on a hit. Conner Gaia and Cole Taylor helped the Raiders to the win on the bump.

Page 7, Summit 3: Page busted out for five first inning runs against Summit to down the Spartans on Friday. Brady Hendrix took the loss, giving up six runs on nine hits over three innings Devin Thrain and Auston Kincaid came on in relief, giving up just one run in three innings of work. Garrett Sims hit a two-run home run for Summit.

Div. II-A District 3

Middle Tenn. Chr. 7, 14; Zion Chr. 0, 0: Zion Christian ended the 2021 campaign with the most wins in school history (14), but were unable to extend their season past a doubleheader on Friday. The Eagles had just three hits in the two games with Luke Perko, Max Brown and Wyatt Heins each singling on the day.

Columbia Acad. 13, 6; Providence Chr. 3, 0: In Game 1, The Bulldogs got an early lift on a single from Kavares Tears. Max Ballard, Damon Toombs, Cade Crouthamel and Tyler Stephens each drove in a pair of runs. Stephens had a home run in the contest. Bryant Beranek and Stephens combined to shut down Providence from the mound. Game 2 was much of the same from the CA pitching staff, as Landon Prentice and Mason Raffauf combined for a two-hitter and struck out 15 collectively. Tanner Ham and Ballard each had a pair of hits in the game, while Stephens added two more RBIs.

Softball

Spring Hill 5, Centennial 4 (11 inn.): Spring Hill’s Kat Carter struck out 19 in a marathon win over Centennial on Friday. The senior gave up an early first inning run, but locked in from there on out. The Lady Raiders got multiple hits in the game from D’Naijah Wade, Bella Umstead and Carter. Umstead drove in two for Spring Hill. Ainsley Tuck put Spring Hill up 4-3, scoring from second when the Lady Cougars couldn’t come up with a throw at first on Gracie Boehms’s grounder to third. The throw from first to the plate was on time, but a sliding Tuck knocked the ball loose. In the confusion, Boehms motored to third, prompting a throw from the plate that went just wide, allowing the Lady Raiders to take a 5-3 lead.

Joe Williams of the Williamson Herald contributed to this report.

Div. II-A, Middle Region Tournament

Columbia Acad. 10, Donelson Chr. 0: Tori Duval drove in five runs on two hits for CA on Friday. The Bulldogs also got a perfect 3-for-3 hit day from Kennedy Chatman as well, who scored twice on Duval hits. Karley Harakas added a pair of RBIs in the game. Averi Slaughter earned the win in the circle, going four innings and striking out eight.

Friendship Chr. 10, Zion Chr. 1: A potent Friendship Christian offense took full advantage of the Lady Eagles on Friday. Freshman pitcher Ashleia Coble went six innings and gave up seven earned runs on 13 hits. She struck out six in the loss. At the plate, Rebecca Hazard was 2-for-3 to lead Zion with an RBI. Coble, Elizabeth Wood and Peyton White each had hits in the game.

Boys Soccer

Oakland 3, Columbia Central 2: Oakland scored a pair of unanswered goals, each in the final four minutes of the match, to earn a come-from-behind win on Saturday. Oakland got on the board first with a goal before Victor Ramirez scored back-to-back for Columbia Central. Ramirez’s first goal was assisted by Kameron Smith. The Lions took a 2-1 lead in the 55th on Ramierez’s second goal.

Monday on the hardwood

Summit girls 65, Ravenwood 53

R 10 4 16 23 — 53
S 15 13 16 21 — 65

Ravenwood (53) — Lexi Erickson 16, Rachel Hillman 8, Elizabeth Flynn 4, Mary Prestegaard 1, Ava Lavigne 3, Reghan Grimes 21
Summit (65) — Myah Kratzig 5, Delaney Noe 18, Bergen Allee 9, Emma Kate Bratton 3, Claudette Runk 10, Cydney Wright 3, Ellie Colson 12, Nicole Rizane 5
3-pointers — Ravenwood 5 (Erickson 2, Hillman 2, Lavigne), Summit 6 (Alle 3, Bratton, Runk 2)

Santa Fe girls 35, Mt. Pleasant 33

MP 7 10 6 10 — 33
SF 8 3 9 15 — 35

Mt. Pleasant (33) — Kielee Bradley 3, Emily Crossman 2, Kenzie Gray 8, Addison Workman 8, Ayanna Jones 6, Maggie Simpson 4, Kiyanna Armstrong 2
Santa Fe (35) — Gracie Mills 5, Elise Adkison 3, Emmy Bates 18, Aniston Slaughter 7, Emily Hopkins 2
3-pointers — Mt. Pleasant 1 (Bradley), Santa Fe 4 (Bates 4)

Lawrence Co. girls 56, Shelbyville 38

S 8 5 13 12 — 38
L 12 11 20 13 — 56

Shelbyville (38) — Lilly Brown 4, Kelsey Hardin 9, Paige Blackburn 14, Kendall Dearing 7, Zoe Reed 4
Lawrence Co. (56) — Carson Gobble 10, Katie Criswell 14, Madison Tidwell 11, Chloe Willis 13, Janie Scott 5, Payton Morgan 3
3-pointers — Shelbyville 4 (Hardin, Blackburn 2, Dearing), Lawrence Co. 5 (Tidwell 3, Willis 2)

Tullahoma boys 63, Lawrence Co. 43

L 14 5 9 15 — 43
T 16 11 16 20 — 63

Lawrence Co. (43) — Alex Carr 1, Kade Shultz 6, Elijah Reynolds 10, Ty Cobb 4, Luke Boswell 9, Harrison Hagan 4, Mac Shultz 6, Charlie Brewer 2, Kobe Carroll 1
Tullahoma (63) — Ethan Hargrove 2, Ryan Scott 8, Krys Uselton 15, Jacob Dixon 2, Will Partin 11, Keishawn Cummings 2, Joe Duncan 12, Brody Melton 11
3-pointers — Lawrence Co. 4 (K. Shultz 2, Reynolds, M. Shultz), Tullahoma 6 (Scott 2, Uselton 2, Partin, Duncan)

Dickson Co. boys 51, Spring Hill 38

SH 6 11 12 9 — 38
DC 13 7 12 19 — 51

Spring Hill (38) — Landen Secrest 4, Jaylen Rucker 7, Quintaveous Simmons 5, Kai’Seanne Brashear 22
Dickson Co. (51) —Jamison Burum 1, Brock Holley 6, Jessie Stewart 5, Josh Cope 21, Joe Carr 9, Mason Herbert 2, Wyatt Harman 4, Dylan Beard 3
3-pointers — Spring Hill 3 (Simmons, Brashear 2), Dickson Co. 7 (Holley, Cope 4, Carr, Beard)

Mt. Pleasant boys 76, Hampshire 32

M 21 24 13 14 — 76
H 9 11 10 7 — 32

Hampshire (32) — Cameryn Bass 16, Blake Morrow 3, Errette Delk 2, Ethan Bowden 7, Jed Page 2, Peyton Morton 2
Mt. Pleasant (76) — Keevan Cooper 11, Kentra Frierson 15, Tip Marlow 8, Hayden Holt 2, Chris Andrews 18, Demarkus Brown 2, Chandler Hughes 2, Gavin Alderson 4, Bennett Hughes 5, Hardin Hughes 5, Kyler Baker 4
3-pointers — Hampshire 4 (Bass 2, Morrow, Bowden), Mt. Pleasant 6 (Frierson 4, B. Hughes, H. Hughes)

Postseason plans paused for District 8-AAA, District 11-AAA

SM-Tn Sports

Basketball tournament schedules for District 11-AAA and District 8-AAA have been set and reset, respectively, in consideration of the current and upcoming weather conditions.

In District 11-AAA, brackets were established at Wednesday’s seeding meeting after the majority of teams in the nine-team league were unable to complete their pandemic-interrupted schedules because of this week’s snow and ice.

“The agreement we came up with at the beginning of the season was that, if we couldn’t get all our games in, we’d (seed) on win percentage rather than total wins,” Ravenwood boys coach Patrick Whitlock said. “At that time, it was because of COVID, but now it’s because of weather.”

Page, which earned home games for both the boys and girls quarterfinals, was the only program to get in 16 district games. Franklin, ranked fourth in the Associated Press Class AAA statewide poll, was the clearcut No. 1 seed on the boys side, while fifth-ranked Brentwood is the girls top seed – just ahead of the Lady Patriots by virtue of the Lady Bruins’ one less loss.

The tournament will open Sunday with 3 p.m. play-in games – Spring Hill boys at Dickson County, Independence girls at Centennial – followed by boys and girls quarterfinals on Monday, semifinals on Tuesday and championships and consolations on Wednesday. All games will be played at higher seeds.

“That was really the only time you could do it,” Whitlock said. “We’re thinking Saturday is going to be the first day we could get back to practice. No one really wanted to play with no practice.”

Sunday

Boys play-in, Spring Hill (9) at Dickson Co. (8), 3 p.m.
Girls play-in, Independence (9) at Centennial (8), 3 p.m.

Monday

Girls quarterfinal, Independence/Centennial winner at Brentwood (1), 5:30 p.m.
Girls quarterfinal, Dickson Co. (7) at Page (2), 5:30 p.m.
Girls quarterfinal, Ravenwood (5) at Summit (4), 7 p.m.
Girls quarterfinal, Franklin (6) at Spring Hill (3), 7 p.m.
Boys quarterfinal, Spring Hill/Dickson Co. winner at Franklin (1), 7 p.m.
Boys quarterfinal, Centennial (6) at Ravenwood (3), 7 p.m.
Boys quarterfinal, Independence (5) at Page (4), 7:30 p.m.
Boys quarterfinal, Summit (7) at Brentwood (2), 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday

Girls semifinals at higher seeds
Boys semifinals at higher seeds
*5:30 p.m. (girls) and 7:30 p.m. (boys) tips if higher seed hosts both; 7 p.m. tip for single game

Wednesday

Girls championship at higher seed
Girls consolation at higher seed
Boys championship at higher seed
Boys consolation at higher seed
*5:30 p.m. (girls) and 7:30 p.m. (boys) tips if higher seed hosts both; 7 p.m. tip for single game

● District 8-AAA, which held its play-in games on Feb. 13, intends to resume tourney action Friday with boys and girls quarterfinals at higher seeds. Saturday and Sunday are set as alternate dates if the games cannot be played Friday, with semifinals scheduled for Monday and championship and consolation games Tuesday.

Friday

Girls quarterfinal, Shelbyville (6) at Lawrence Co. (3)
Girls quarterfinal, Lincoln Co. (5) at Columbia Central (4)
Boys quarterfinal, Shelbyville (7) at Lincoln Co. (3)
Boys quarterfinal, Lawrence Co. (5) at Tullahoma (4)
*game times to be determined; makeup dates Saturday or Sunday if needed

Monday

Girls semifinal, Shelbyville/Lawrence Co. winner at Tullahoma (2)
Girls semifinal, Lincoln Co./Columbia Central winner at Coffee Co. (1)
Boys semifinal, Shelbyville/Lincoln Co. winner at Coffee Co. (2)
Boys semifinal, Lawrence Co./Tullahoma winner at Columbia Central (1)
*game times to be determined

Tuesday

Girls championship at higher seed
Girls consolation at higher seed
Boys championship at higher seed
Boys consolation at higher seed
*game times to be determined; makeup date Wednesday if needed

Lions close regular season with sweep of Shelbyville

By Chris Yow

COLUMBIA — With a a top-four seed in the District 8-AAA tournament on the line, Columbia Central’s Lady Lions mounted a 12-point comeback to close their regular season with a 53-47 win over Shelbyville at home on Thursday.

Missing a pair of key players — Janiyha Riley and Jalei O’Neal — the Lady Lions were forced to rely on some players deep off the bench for crucial minutes. Columbia Central coach Joshua Bugg was proud of the effort his team received from those players.

“It’s exciting to see those girls step up to the challenge,” he said. “We’ve battled some injuries and the world’s been weird with COVID, but we’ve had some close losses. Tonight we fought over that hump.”

With the win, Central will now host Lincoln County on Tuesday night with a region berth on the line. That wouldn’t have been the case if not for a big run to start the second half. The Lady Lions took their first lead of the game with 3:08 to play in the third quarter during a 17-4 run.

Josie Parks hit her first of two 3-pointers in the period to jump start the Lady Lions, and Ryleigh Hamm added a pair of long balls as well for the hosts during that run. Shelbyville, however, battled back to regain the lead going to the fourth quarter.

Six quick points to start the fourth quarter was enough for the Lady Lions to put pressure on the Eaglettes, and they held their guests to just eight points in the quarter to pull away late.

Bugg said this win will hopefully propel his team to greater heights past the district tournament. If they can match their second-half effort from Thursday, the head coach feels confident those goals can be achieved.

“We have to come out and play with the effort and intensity we had in the second half tonight,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting knowing that if we win on Tuesday we get a chance to play in the region tournament.”

Columbia Central girls 53, Shelbyville 47

S 11 12 16 8 — 47
C 4 8 24 17 — 53

Shelbyville (47) — Lilly Brown 6, Kelsey Harden 7, Paige Blackburn 17, Kendall Dearing 11, Zoe Reed 6
Columbia Central (53) — Saviya Morgan 3, Ryleigh Hamm 15, Josie Parks 18, Kiyanna Edwards 7, Jenice Bailey 8, Emma Hughes 2
3-pointers — Shelbyville 2 (Dearing 2), Columbia Central 10 (Ham 5, Parks 3, Edwards 2)

Martin leads Lions to tough win over Eagles

Celebrating his 1,000th point, which he scored on Monday night at Lawrence County, Q Martin showed he may just be getting started.

The junior guard poured in a game-high 20 points as the Lions earned their 10th district win of the season, a 61-50 decision over Shelbyville.

Despite nine first-quarter points from Martin, however, the hosts found themselves trailing 15-14 after one. A pair of Cam Johnson treys later, the Lions regained the lead with 1:54 to go in the second quarter and would never relinquish it.

“Playing three games in four days, I thought we might come out a little sluggish,” coach Nick Campbell said. “I got after them a little bit at halftime, but they responded well.”

Carter Szydlowski’s putback just before halftime was a big lift for the hosts, who came out and pushed their three-point halftime lead to seven and held a six-point advantage after three.

Thanks in part to a near-perfect effort from the free throw line, the Lions were able to extend their lead late to seal the win. Columbia Central was 13-for-14 from the stripe, including 7-for-8 in the final frame.

Campbell was pleased with his team’s effort both on Thursday and throughout the season.

“It’s awesome to see where these guys have come from the last couple of years and how they’ve bought into what we’re trying to do,” he said. “I’m proud of them, they deserve all the credit.”

Columbia Central boys 61, Shelbyville 50

S 15 9 12 14 — 50
C 14 13 15 19 — 61

Shelbyville (50) — Jayson Jones 13, Daman Heath 8, Timothy Parsons 5, Jailain Anderson 17, Terrance Johnson 3, Kyler Trice 4
Columbia Central (61) — Cam Johnson 8, Demetrius McCoy 4, Carter Szydlowski 2, Q Martin 20, Omari Franklin 6, Bubba Perkins 7, Roni Bailey 4, Jordan Davis 10
3-pointers — Shelbyville 6 (Jones 3, Anderson 2, Parsons), Columbia Central 7 (Johnson 2, Franklin 2, Perkins)

Photos by Sarah Yow / SM-Tn Sports