McKenzie claims key district sweep

Lady Rebels win thriller at Gibson County

McKenzie senior Katie Chesser deposited four three-pointers in the first quarter on the way to a 23-point effort as the Lady Rebels topped visiting McEwen 85-65 in District 11A basketball action Friday night.

In the nightcap, McKenzie held off a relentless challenge from the visiting Warriors, capturing a 71-61 district victory.

In the opener, Chesser had the hot hand, drilling four triples in the first frame, seven for the game as the Lady Rebels set the tone from the outset. Her dead eye enabled McKenzie to race to a 30-9 lead in the first quarter. McKenzie went on a 21-2 run to end the first.

Things didn’t improve much for the Lady Warriors in the second as McKenzie grasped a 49-21 lead at the half. The Lady Rebels were 11-18 from the three-point line in the first 16 minutes. For the game, McKenzie was 17-35 from the arc. Chesser, for the game, was 7-8 from the rainbow.

McEwen found a little traction in the third when Faith Colston dropped in 13 points in the quarter alone, but McKenzie was still sizeably in front by the buzzer, 65-37, thanks to Colston’s buzzer-beater triple.

The fourth quarter seemingly became a three-point shooting contest. Chesser and Pate were spot on for McKenzie while Colston, Amberlee Hankins and Kellie Jo Hankins rang the bell for McEwen.

Colston led McEwen with 25, Kellie Jo Hankins scored 13, Amberlee Hankings added 10 and Layken Dodd recorded nine.

Following Chesser’s 23, Savannah Davis had 17 with two threes, Auvenshine had 14 ponts to go with four triples, Kylie Reynolds had 14 and two threes, Mikaela Reynolds had 11 points and one three.

McEwen falls to 18-6, 1-3 in the district. McKenzie improves to 15-6 overall, 4-0 in 11A.

In the nightcap, McKenzie’s production was well rounded, but McEwen had no quit in it. The Rebels were able to push to a 71-61 victory.

It seemed that the Rebels had subdued the Warriors early in the fourth quarter by taking a 20-point, 68-48 lead following a 10-0 run. McEwen came surging back after a triple from Caleb Coates, a surge from Will Davis and Cade Dreaden, but the the assault came too late in the third.

Zach Aird hat the hot hand for the Rebels. His triple at the end of the first gave McKenzie a 23-13 advantage. McEwen eighth-grader Case Greene had a good night, knocking down a three and a deuce to keep McKenzie’s margin at 10. Zach Aird’s triple lifted McKenzie to a 13-point cushion late in the half, but Dreaden’s bucket just before the buzzer cut into the Rebel lead. McKenzie led 35-28 at the half.

McKenzie started the third on a 7-0 run, which was interrupted by Coates’ three. Greene added another triple late in the third to trim the gap to nine, 50-41, but McKenzie’s Bryson Steele’s bucket pushed the Rebels back up to 11, 52-41, by quarter’s end.

McKenzie opened the fourth with four triples, two from Zach Aird, one from Garrett and the other from Tate Surber, and the Rebels were en route to a 20-point advantage. McEwen’s run came too late.

Coates and Marcus Carter each led McEwen with 12 points. Greene pitched in 11, Dreaden and Winstead each had nine.

Aird led McKenzie with 17, Steele scored 15, Stafford Roditis and Zay Webber each had 12 while Surber carded seven.

McEwen falls to 11-10 on the season, 2-2 in the district. The Warriors were at Houston County Tuesday, visit Big Sandy Friday, Feb. 3 then close the season with a visit from Dresden Tuesdeay, Feb.7.

McKenzie improves to 12-5 overall, 4-0 in 11A and hosted Gleason Monday, ventured to Big Sandy Tuesday and trekked to Houston County on Friday. The Rebels conclude the regular season Tuesday, Feb. 7 when Milan comes to town.

Tuesday night, McKenzie took a big step forward confidence-wise by defeating host Gibson County 75-73. The Lady Pioneers also were state ranked.

McKenzie, trailing 73-72, and at the free throw line to attempt to tie the game. After a missed free throw, Lady Rebel senior Briley Auvenshine pulled down the rebound with 12 seconds left, kicked to the wing to teammate Kylie Reynolds, who spotted up and drained a triple with :05 to play for the victory.

The Lady Rebels once trailed by 13 in the contest.

The victory spoiled a memorable effort by Gibson County’s Micah Hart, who finished with 30 points. Evyn Cantrell scored 16, Libby Goad and Georgia Lannon each scored 12.

Mikaela Reynolds led McKenzie with 17, Savannah Davis had 15, Kylie Reynolds threw in 13, Auvenshine scored 11, Sophie Pate added 10 and Katie Chesser had nine.

In the nightcap, Gibson County turned away McKenzie 52-44. Matthew Reynolds led the Pioneers with 16, Ethan Turner scored 14 and Kylan Finch added 12.

Bryson Steele was the only Rebel in double figures with 13. Marquez Taylor and Tate Surber each had eight.

In a Thursday, boys-only battle, visiting Martin-Westview defeated McKenzie 62-57.

The Rebels were without the services of Marquez Taylor, who was on a football recruiting trip.

Dontez Joy led the Chargers with 21 points in this back-and-forth game. Tate Surber was tops for the Rebels with 20 points.

Westview eased in front of the Rebels 14-13 in the first frame, but erupted for 25 second-quarter points to lead 39-27 at the half. The Chargers maintained a 51-41 lead going into the fourth quarter.

In the final stanza, McKenzie outpaced the Chargers, but it wasn’t enough as Westview escaped with the victory.

Drew Shanklin had 12 and Brent McGuffin had 11 to lead the Chargers. Zach Aird had 14 and Zay Webber 13 for the Rebels.

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