Tigerettes can't slow down Waverly
The senior-laden Waverly Tigerettes doubled-up their namesakes from Marshall County 64-32 in the first round of the Region 6-AA Tournament in Humphreys County and showed why they have won three consecutive District 11-AA titles Friday night, displaying a steely brand of experienced basketball that wore down the youthful MCHS squad.
MCHS head coach David Junkins tried to counter Waverly's experience by coming out and trying to hold the ball, but Waverly counter-punched with a pressure defense that led to nine first half turnovers by Lewisburg.
"Our game planning coming out was knowing Waverly is the most disciplined team in the region, they have got the most experience, they have seven seniors and two juniors, five seniors play, and they know what they can do," said MCHS head coach David Junkins.
A Jameka Braden steal and score on Waverly's first touch was matched by Kaylin Hamm to make it 2-2 before a Braden rebound and put-back gave MCHS their last lead of the game at 4-2.
Brittany Bell tied the game for Waverly with a second chance bucket, and moments later, Waverly freshman Monica Rion drilled a trey to make it 7-4.
As time wound down in the first quarter, Carlie Dyer came up with a loose ball on Marshall County's fifth turnover of the period and scored to make it a 9-4 ballgame after the first eight minutes.
Lewisburg fought back, and after a Marissa Lyttle basket got the visiting Tigerettes to within three points of the hometown Tigerettes at 12-9, Waverly turned up the defensive pressure cooker and three-point prowess to pull away.
Waverly senior Rachel Jones nailed a trio of treys in a 13-2 run as the girls from Lewisburg faced elimination, trailing 25-11 at the half.
In the third period, Marshall County tried to play with the District 11-AA champs, but it was not to be as Waverly outscored MCHS 19-4 in the quarter to put the game away at 44-25.
"In the second half we had to come out and play with them and our girls said now we know why you wanted to hold the ball," said Junkins. "They are very proficient on offense and only average about three turnovers a game."
Top-seeded Waverly, who will take on Hickman County in the semifinals, was led in the scoring column by Dyer with 18 points, Jones finished with 11, Rion and Meagan Breeden scored eight points apiece, Hamm and Bell netted a half dozen each, Nay Nay Bradley scored 3, and AJ Gravely and Sydney Jackson wound up with two points apiece.
Waverly was also proficient from the free throw line as the made 18 out of 24 charity shots in the contest.
Braden led MCHS in scoring with 13 points, Lyttle scored 7, Morgan Moyers netted 5, Mecia Reed scored four, and Destiny Moore had one three-pointer.
"I believe we got the most out of the girls this year," said Junkins. "We got one step further than we did last year, a lot of people didn't give us much of a chance graduating four seniors. I think we did a great job coming this far and us and Page will be the most experienced teams in the region next year, and we have to take care of business."