ANTIOCH – The Mt. Juliet Lady Bears are heading back to state.
The Lady Bears knocked off Antioch Saturday, 49-37, to earn the state berth. It wasn’t without a battle. Antioch held the Lady Bears scoreless until the 4:35 mark of the first half with speed on the defensive end.
Mt. Juliet was out of sync, until Caya Williams layup got them on the board. A few minutes later, she went up, got the bucket, and was fouled. She added the free throw and the Lady Bears led 7-6.
At the end of the first, Mt. Juliet led 12-10.
In the second quarter, Sally McCabe picked up her third foul, and reserve post Barianne Taylor was injured on a fall. Paige Baugher also had foul trouble, so the Lady Bears bench needed to step up. All did, but Sydney Rau made the most of her time.
Rau scored seven of the last nine points of the half, and the Lady Bears led 27-21 at the break.
The game was put away in the third. Antioch had no answer for Williams or McCabe down low, and the lead had ballooned to 41-25 going into the fourth.
Mt. Juliet will open with Riverdale in the first round of the state tournament. Riverdale has won two against the Lady Bears this season, but they were both close until the end. Tipoff is 5:30 p.m. at the Murphy Center. If they win, they play the winner of Memphis Overton and Morristown East Friday at 1 p.m. The other teams in the tournament are Clarksville, Memphis Central, Lawrence County and Science Hill.
Mt. Juliet 49
M – 12 15 14 8 – 49
A – 10 11 4 12 – 37
M – Caya Williams 21, Sally McCabe 10, Sydney Rau 7, MeMe Jackson 5, Paige Baugher 4, Helen Mitchner 2. A – Davis 12, Hill 11, Williams 8, Fowler 6.