McKenzie takes aim for 11A top seed

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After securing a sweep of Big Sandy last Tuesday night, Feb. 1, McKenzie’s girls and boys basketball teams hope to nail down the top seed in the upcoming District 11A tournament, which will begin next week.

McKenzie’s Lady Rebels made up a district game with McEwen Monday, originally set for Jan. 14 but postponed because of COVID-19 protocol. McKenzie will host Houston County Thursday night to end the regular season. The District 11A tournament semifinals will begin with girls’ play at the home sight of the highest seeds Monday, Feb. 14, the boys playing Tuesday, Feb. 15. The district consolation games and championships will be held in McEwen Friday, Feb. 18.

Tuesday night, McKenzie’s girls did not allow a Big Sandy basket until the 6:44 mark of the second quarter. MHS claimed a 73-24 victory. The Lady Rebels led 28-0 heading into the second frame. Katie Chesser drilled two threes in the first to help MHS to the big start. Big Sandy had no answers for the state’s No. 1-ranked team. By halftime, the Lady Rebels led 42-7.

Mikaela Reynolds led McKenzie with 17 points. Ally Gibson pitched in 13, Chesser and Briley Auvenshine each scored 12. Bailey Berry and Ashley Berry each led Big Sandy with eight.

Big Sandy fell to 9-5 in the district, 4-17 overall.

In the boys’ game, Big Sandy didn’t score until the 2:00 mark of the first quarter as the Rebels took a 17-6 lead on the way to a 73-33 victory.

Eleven Rebels scored in the game, led by Zayden McCaslin and Bryson Steele with 12 each. Zay Webber scored nine. Thane Terry led Big Sandy with eight points, Seth Green and Cole Pierpoint scored six apiece.

On Jan. 31, Martin-Westview’s Lady Chargers ramped up their defense to hand visiting McKenzie, the state’s No. 1-ranked Class A girls’ team, its second loss of the season.

Westview entered the game as the state’s No. 2-ranked Class AA team in the most recent Associated Press poll.

In the nightcap, the hosting Chargers completed the sweep with a 66-56 victory over the Rebels.

The Lady Chargers and McKenzie locked into a back-and-forth game early. Westview took an early 10-9 lead in the first, despite the fact that McKenzie didn’t score its first hoop until the 4:45 mark. The Lady Rebels recovered to lead 21-20 at the break. That’s when things changed for the Lady Rebels.

In the third period, Westview erupted to outscore McKenzie 17-3 for a 37-24 advantage. The Lady Rebels didn’t score their lone hoop until the 2:33 mark of the third, a triple from Savannah Davis. Meanwhile, the Lady Chargers hit five triples in the third, led by Jada Harrison, who had three in the quarter and four for the game. Kylee Alexander and Lakyn Rogers also rang the bell from three in the third.

Davis scored six in the fourth while Mikaela Reynolds tossed in a triple for McKenzie in the third, but the damage had been done.

Davis led McKenzie with 14 points, the only Lady Rebel in double digits.

Harrison tossed in 20 for the Lady Chargers, followed by McCall Sims with 12. The Lady Rebels fall to 19-2 overall while the Westview improves to 20-2.

In the boys’ game, Westview had its six-game, post-holiday win streak ended by Milan Friday night, 50-48, but recovered to take down McKenzie 60-50 Monday night.

The Chargers trailed 21-16 at halftime, but used a 25-7, third-quarter surge to put the game out of reach. Westview hit four triples in the third, led by Cade Spaulding’s hot hand. Westview led 41-28 at that point and the Rebels never recovered.

McKenzie took a 7-6 lead in the first quarter. Garner Anderson and Spaulding each deposited threes for the Chargers. Tate Surber and Stafford Roditis supplied production for the Rebels in the second for the slim cushion going into the break.

The Rebels found another gear in the fourth and outpaced the Chargers 22-19, but the paltry third doomed McKenzie.

Tate Surber and Marquez Taylor each scored 10 to lead the Rebels.

Anderson scored 21, Garner 20 to lead Westview.

The Lady Rebels are 20-2 overall, 4-0 in district play. The Rebels are 14-8 overall, 5-0 in the district.

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