Rebels, Lady Rebs secure top spots in District 11A

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McKenzie’s boys and girls basketball teams claimed the top seeds in the District 11A tournament this week by sweeping Houston County last Thursday, Feb. 10.

The visiting Lady Irish gave the top-ranked McKenzie girls a bit of a scare, leading early in the fourth quarter, but McKenzie went on a late run to take a 75-68 victory.

In the boys’ game, McKenzie won a close battle with the Fighting Irish 53-48.

The Lady Rebels and Rebels hosted Big Sandy in the District 11A semifinals Tuesday night, though results were not available as of press time.

In the opener Thursday, McKenzie and Houston County got off to a high-octane start. The two teams combined for eight triples in the first frame. McKenzie hit seven and Houston County hit eight in the first half.

McKenzie took a 22-18 lead in the first quarter, but Houston County outscored MHS by one in the second and trailed heading into the locker room 37-34 at the half.

McKenzie’s Savannah Davis hit two threes in the third, Kylie Reynolds bagged another, and McKenzie looked like it was in pretty good shape going into the fourth, leading 54-49. But Houston County’s Josey Gant and Karlie Stinson each heated up from the perimeter to give their team a brief lead. McKenzie  righted the ship and did the job down the stretch at the free throw line to capture the victory.

Stinson led Houston County with 19 points and five threes. Haylee Brooks had 14, R’Shont’e Kizer and Gant each had 13.

Davis led McKenzie with 24, including four triples. Briley Auvenshine scored 15, Kylie Reynolds added 14, Mikaela Reynolds tossed in 10, while Dani Dyer scored nine. The Lady Rebels are perfect in six district battles and finish the regular season at 22-2.

In the nightcap, McKenzie engaged in a tight battle with Houston County before prevailing 55-48.

McKenzie only hit one three while Houston County drilled four, but McKenzie’s defense was pretty sound and kept the Irish at arm’s length for much of the game.

Bryson Steele’s 18 points led the Rebels. Tate Surber scored 10.

Conner Conwell led Houston County with 13 while Andrew Meadow added 10.

The Rebels, 14-8, also are 6-0 in District 11.

• • •

The Lady Rebels ratcheted up the defense against visiting McEwen Monday night, Feb. 7, for a 60-31 District 11A girls’ basketball victory.

This game, originally set for Jan. 18, was postponed because the Warriorettes were observing COVID-19 protocol.

McEwen struggled from the gate, managing only one point in the opening measure, a free throw from Amberee Hankins. McKenzie raced to a 22-1 advantage by the end of the first. McEwen wouldn’t score its first field goal until the 4:25 mark of the second quarter.

McKenzie’s Mikaela Reynolds had the hot hand early and scored all 18 of her points in the first half, including 12 in the second. Hankins drained a three in the second to go with her five-point flurry. By then, however, the Lady Rebels took a 40-13 lead into the dressing room.

In the third, Briley Auvenshine, Savannah Davis, Dani Dyer and Hannah Dillingham each connected from the arch for the Lady Rebels in the third. McEwen’s Kellie Jo Hankins and Ashton Davidson rang the bell from the perimeter to keep pace, but McKenzie’s damage had been done. Davidson connected with another three in the fourth for McEwen.

Amberlee Hankins and Ashton Davidson led McEwen with eight points apiece. Kellie Jo Hankins scored six, Lexi Davidson added four, Abby Harrington three and Alicia Villaruell with two. McEwen is 11-11 overall and 1-4 in district play.

Davis scored 14 and Kylie Reynolds tossed in 11 to lead the Lady Rebels.  

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