Lady Rebels make history with championship win

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THE FAMILY – Coach John Wilkins and family admire the gold ball presented at the end of the championship win. From top to bottom, wife, Lauren; at left, Hadley , 7; Claire, 9; and Millie Jane, 3.

What a game! Indeed, a historic win. It was a great place to be Saturday night at the Boro and witness the McKenzie Lady Rebels come away with a 46-42 win over Wayne County and receive the gold ball. It was a first for McKenzie basketball.

The game was a battle from beginning to end.

Sisters Mikaela and Kylie Reynolds , Savannah Davis, Katie Chesser, Bryley Auvenshine, Dani Dyer, Madison Gilbert, Ally Gibson, Sophie Tate,and Hannah Dillingham all played in the championship game.

These girls never let up. They kept their jets on full power all four quarters.

Coach John Wilkins is one of the best when it comes to coaching basketball. He and his assistant Ashley Lowe made an excellent coaching team.

John and his two brothers, David, who coaches the Huntingdon Fillies, and his brother Mark, the boy’s basketball coach at Independent High School at Thompson Station are all known for their coaching abilities. Of course, they have reason to be great at what they do. They were taught well by their dad, Mitch Wilkins, who does a pretty good job of coaching himself. He won a gold ball in 2019 as coach of the Gibson County Lady Pioneers.

According to The Jackson Sun, there is only one more father-son duo who have won championships. That was Campbell Brandon, who won at Lebanon in 1971 and Bud Brandon, who won two state titles at Wilson Central in Class 3-A in 2006 and 2008.

Trezevant High School is the only other school in Carroll County to win a girl’s state championship game. That was before it was consolidated and became West Carroll Special School District.

Vicki Myers of Huntingdon, who is inventory secretary at West Tennessee Public Utility District, was a member of both championship teams in 1974 and 1976. It was half court play at that time and she played both forward and guard. There were only two divisions then, large and small, she said. Under head coach Richard Welch and assistant Homer Hansbro, out of 14 consecutive years, the school went 13 times to the state tournament.

The school received a large trophy, and not a gold ball for their wins, she said.

Huntingdon High School has made several state tournament appearances over the years under coaches Farris Lowery, Mike Henson and David Wilkins.

At the Saturday night game named to the state’s All Tournament team from McKenzie was Dani Dyer, the only senior on the team, sophomore Savannah Davis, junior Bryley Auvenshine Savannah was the MVP of the game and coach Wilkins received a plaque as the championship game coach.

The 16 McKenzie cheerleaders did a great job in keeping the crowd on their feet with their spirited cheers and the managers kept the team powered up energy drinks.

Now, it would be a perfect ending if Savannah won Miss Basketball  on Monday which was held at 5 p.m. past our deadline.

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