Nolensville escapes to win back-to-back D12-AA titles

Friday, February 22, 2019
Demariae Ingram drains the second of two free throws to give Marshall County a 39-35 lead with 24.4 seconds left in regulation.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Marshall County Tigerettes came tantalizingly close to breaking the jinx versus Nolensville Monday at Chapel Hill in the District 12-AA Tournament title game.

The Tigerettes couldn’t hold on to a four-point lead with 24 seconds left in regulation and had a chance to win in overtime, but a potential game-winning shot spun out of the hoop and the Lady Knights prevailed 49-46.

“We had our chance, I’m proud of how we played though,” MCHS coach David Steely said. “We could have rolled over six down with four minutes to go, but we came back and had the lead and had a chance to win.”

“We missed a tough shot to win the game in overtime, I thought it was in,” Steely said. “I was already a little bit celebrating.”

It was Marshall County’s fifth loss in row to Nolensville, including last year’s Region 5-AA title game.

“They have beaten us three times in a row this year, all about like that, real close,” Steely said.

The Tigerettes (22-7) host Lewis County (17-13) tonight at the Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium in Lewisburg while Nolensville entertains (22-6) Hickman County (15-15) in Region 5-AA Tournament first round satellite action.

“They (Nolensville) have got a real good team and I think we have a real good team,” Steely said. “Hopefully we can play them again in the region finals, so this time of year you just have to go to the next game. We have to win Friday night and we can go from there.”

The remainder of the tournament moves to East Hickman on Monday.

Marshall County had a balanced scoresheet as Kelsey Keiler led all scorers in the contest with 17 points while Demariae Ingram had 10, Hannah Davis contributed nine points, Karlye Wiser had a pair of 3-pointers for six points, and Dionna Crutcher added four.

Grace Baird, who was awarded the District 12-AA regular season MVP after the game for the second season in a row, led the Lady Knights in the scoring column with 16 points, including a clutch 6-for-7 effort from the free throw line with 4-of-5 coming in the overtime period.

Sydney Mickulin had 14 points and won the District 12-AA Tournament MVP award and Parker Leftwich was also in double figures with 12 points.

Kendall Matas added four points and Caymin Ladd netted three for the Lady Knights.

Nolensville scored the first four points of the game before the Tigerettes finally found their footing on a Karlye Wiser 3-pointer with 3:42 left in the period.

Hannah Davis (24) knocks in a basket in the low post during the first quarter.

A Dionna Crutcher steal and score gave the Tigerettes the lead at 5-4 and moments later, Hannah Davis scored in the low post.

A Nolensville missed shot led to another Davis basket on a grinding rebound and put-back before a Parker Leftwich bucket made it 9-6 after the first period.

Karlye Wiser (4) had a pair of 3-pointers in the contest.

The Tigerettes picked up the pace in the second period as they began to edge ahead by five points, six points, and then eight points at 19-11 on another Wiser 3-pointer late in the first half.

After one Leftwich free throw, Demariae Ingram made it a nine-point contest on a drive to the dish before the first half ended with one Sydney Mickulin free throw for Nolensville and the Tigerettes took a 21-13 lead to the locker room.

Keiler knocked home a jumper to start the second half and scored again at 5:55 mark of the third quarter to give Marshall County a 25-15 lead before Nolensville came storming back via a 12-0 run, eventually taking the lead on a Leftwich bucket with 1:53 remaining in the third quarter.

Keiler hit a 3-pointer to seesaw the lead back to the Tigerettes and a Kendal Matas basket gave the Lady Knights a one-point lead.

One free throw by Keiler tied the game at 29 until Mickulin drained a 3-pointer as time ran down in the period to put Nolensville in front 32-29, entering the fourth quarter.

Baird hit a 3-pointer to start the period, stretching the lead to six points for the Lady Knights, but the Tigerettes dug in with a huge defensive effort over the next several minutes.

Kelsey Keiler (21), who led all scorers in the game with 17 points, drives in for a fourth quarter bucket for the Tigerettes, who fell 49-46 to Nolensville in overtime Monday night in the District 12-AA championship game at Chapel Hill.

While holding Nolensville scoreless, the Tigerettes strung together a 10-0 run and had a 39-35 lead after Ingram hit both ends of a one-and-one opportunity from the free throw line with 24.4 seconds remaining in the contest, forcing a Lady Knights’ timeout.

Wiser came up with a blocked shot out of the stoppage, but Nolensville got the ball and Mickulin scored on a floater in the lane.

After another timeout, Leftwich did her thing as she stole the inbounds pass and fed Mickulin for the game-tying basket with 3.2 seconds left.

A desperation heave by the Tigerettes was no good and the game went to overtime tied at 39.

One Keiler free throw kicked off the final period before Nolensville took the lead at 41-40 on a Matas bucket.

Keiler came up with a basket on a drive to the basket and Ingram stole the ball and scored to give Marshall County a 44-41 lead.

Leftwich scored at the other end and was fouled and missed the free throw, but Nolensville came up with the rebound and Baird was fouled attempting a 3-pointer.

She missed the first, but sank the next two free throws to edge the Lady Knights in front 45-44 with 1:29 remaining in the contest.

Keiler came up with another huge basket on a drive to the basket and Baird threw in a runner at the other end.

The Tigerettes had the ball and moved it around nicely when Ingram got the ball and saw an open lane to the bucket that she took advantage of and Ingram drove in and laid it off the glass.

The ball went three quarters of the way into the basket before unluckily spinning out and Nolensville got the rebound.

Baird drained both ends of a one-and-one at the other end to make it a three-point game and a long desperation shot by the Tigerettes was no good at the buzzer.

“They know where we are, we finished third in the district tournament last year and made the finals and played in the sub-state,” Steely said. “We understand winning the district doesn’t guarantee you anything, but it would have been fun.”

“You have to go win the next two games to advance and that is our focus, we have girls that want to advance.”

Marshall County 9 12 8 10 7-46

Nolensville 6 7 19 7 10-49

Marshall County (46): Kelsey Keiler 17, Demariae Ingram 10, Hannah Davis 9, Karlye Wiser 6, Dionna Crutcher 4.

3-Point Goals (3): Wiser 2, Keiler.

Free Throws (7-for-12): Keiler 4-for-6, Ingram 2-for-3, Davis 1-for-2, Crutcher 0-for-1.

Nolensville (49): Grace Baird 16, Sydney Mickulin 14, Parker Leftwich 12, Kendall Matas 4, Caymin Ladd 3.

3-Point Goals (5): Baird 2, Leftwich, Ladd, Mickulin.

Free Throws (8-for-13): Baird 6-for-7, Leftwich 1-for-4, Mickulin 1-for-2.

Halftime Score: Marshall County 21, Nolensville 13.