Article by: Trevor McGee
Wilson Central opened the District 9AAA tournament on Sunday and came into play like every other District team sitting at at 0-0. The match-up was set: (8) Wilson Central against (9) Mt. Juliet at Wildcat Arena with a chance to advance to the first round to play #1 Seeded Lebanon on the line. The Lady Wildcats knew what it took to beat their Gateway Rivals, as Central totaled two wins on the season, and both came against the team they were slated to battle. This game would end in the same way that it had in the previous meetings: a Wilson Central win, 35-26.
The game tipped off at 4:00 on Sunday, February 21st with one team leaving Wildcat Arena with an end to the season and the other ready to travel to Lebanon High School with an extended season. Mt. Juliet came out of the gate with full intention of making it to round 1, leaving Wilson Central facing a three point deficit, 8-5, through 8 minutes. Offense was something hard to find for both teams throughout the game, and especially prominent in the first half. Wilson Central would reverse the course of the game, and send Mt. Juliet to the locker rooms being down by 1. Wilson Central would take Quarter 2 scoring margin 7-3, and lead 12-11 at halftime.
With many struggles coming to play in the second half this season for the Lady Cats, Wilson Central and seniors Campbell Strange and Sydney Dalton did not want their seasons to end so quickly. Offense was clicking in the third quarter leading Wilson Central to 13 third quarter points, and a 25-16 lead with the last 8 minutes left in play. Mt. Juliet brought a scare in the final two minutes of play, threatening the Wilson Central lead and bringing the margin as low as 3 points, but the afore mentioned seniors kicked into gear. The two combined for 9 of the 10 fourth quarter points and guided the Lady Wildcats to the 35-26 win, and their third over Mt. Juliet this season. Sydney Dalton and Campbell Strange provided 71% of Wilson Central’s offense, combining for 25 points with 14 and 11 to each of their names. The last 10 points were divided up among Kristen Smith and Lillian Crutchfield with 7 and 3 a piece. Despite only 4 players making it into the score book, Wilson Central was able to extend their season and advance to the first round with their 9 point rivalry win.
Now that the play-in game was finally able to take place, this means all teams are set for the District 9AAA Tournament to begin taking place. (1) Lebanon, the top seed in this year’s tournament, will now face Wilson Central as a result of the win. The first round will go as followed:
(8) Wilson Central at (1) Lebanon- Monday, February 22nd 6:00 PM at Lebanon High School
Winner advances to the next round to face the winner of (4) Green Hill and (5) Station Camp on Tuesday, February 23rd at the higher seeds school.
Wildcat Nation, show up to Lebanon High School on Monday to support your Lady Wildcats as well the the boy’s team as they both face the Lebanon Blue Devils. Tickets will be made available through GoFan.com. —Lebanon vs Wilson Central.