When Saranda Woodson arrived at Macon County High School last
spring, she hoped that she was going somewhere.
On Saturday evening, Woodson arrived.
The junior forward lands in Murfreesboro this week along with the
rest of the top-ranked Tigerette girls basketball team, which stormed
into the Class AA State Tournament with Saturday evening's 83-38 rout
of visitng Red Bank at Nera White Gymnasium in one of eight AA
“That was my goal, to have a role in making the team good and
helping us make it to the state again,” Woodson – who transferred
from Watertown High School – said. “I wanted to do my job to help
them get there.
“It feels absolutely amazing. I've never been a part of
something so great. It feels good to be a part of it.”
It's the program's fourth consecutive trip to the state
tournament, the first time that has happened in 江苏快三遗漏 history.
“We were so focused on making it to state,” Macon County
senior forward McKaylee Mix said. “I felt like we were going to
come out strong and give it our all. I was expecting to come out, do
our best, play hard and go out with a big win.”
Mix and her classmates – Jamie Ashburn, Keeley Carter and Marah
King – played their final 江苏快三遗漏 game on Saturday. They compiled a
51-5 career record on their 江苏快三遗漏 court.
“It's very bittersweet,” Mix said. “I feel like I basically
grew up here. I grew up in this gym.
“I don't think it's hit me yet. I'm very sad … and excited. I
have so many mixed emotions.”
Lady Lion center Bailey Lee converted on an interior shot midway
through the first quarter, pulling her squad to within three points
of the host squad.
However, it was all Tigerettes from that point forward.
“We did a great job with our (defensive) pressure,” Macon
County head coach Larry White said. “We also did a really good job
when we were running and jumping (while employing their full-court
press) of getting them to pick their dribble up, and they walked
some. We did a good job of getting on their strong side.”
The Tigerettes ended the first half by scoring 44 of the final 56
Macon County (32-2) solved Red Bank's 1-3-1 zone defense.
Tigerette junior Abby Shoulders made a 3-pointer late in the first
quarter, and Gregory made three 3-pointers in the second stanza, with
Mix coming off the bench to sink one in the second period as well.
“They played a 1-3-1 to start the game,” White said. “I do
thorough scouting. They hadn't ever played that, but we adjusted to
The Tigerettes shot 55 percent from the field and made 11 of 25
3-pointers. Junior point guard Jalynn Gregory accounted for five of
those made 3-pointers.
“We kind of knew (it was going to be a zone defense),” Woodson
said. “We practiced against it. So, we knew where to throw it in
Woodson came off of the bench and twice grabbed missed shots and
turned those offensive rebounds into successful putbacks.
“My role is to, if there's a big girl, to shut her down,”
Woodson said. “Don't let them come in there (in the lane), be in
help (side defense), score if I can, get the rebounds and take
“I worked on, in practice, not reaching up and fouling, pushing
the girl (to get rebounding position). I made sure I was in the right
placement of where the rebound was going to come off. It came right
into my hands.”
Woodson finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, converting on
5 of 8 field-goal attempts.
“Saranda Woodson had a phenomenal game,” White said. “That's
the best game we've played since she's been here.
“She's never gotten to experience anything like this. She's on
Keeley Carter's three-point play late in the first quarter gave
her squad a 17-point lead.
Then, Gregory erupted for 12 points in the second stanza as the
lead continued to swell.
Macon County forced 15 turnovers in the first half.
“We felt like we could use our speed as a strength in this
game,” Mix said. “That was a very atheltic team. We had to make
sure we had enough pressure to get them out of their comfort zone. It
came down to using our quickness to beat them.”
The Lady Lions (27-7) finished with 24 turnovers.
“We felt like we were definitely faster,” Woodson said. “Our
guards are extremely good at forcing turnovers and causing chaos.
They caused a lot of turnovers.
“We're really good at reading the ball all together as a team.”
Gregory penetrated down the lane and slipped a pass over to senior
center Marah King for a layin, giving the Tigerettes a 35-point lead
(53-18) lead at halftime.
“I expected the big girl (Lee) to be a bigger factor, but you
can't score if you can't get the ball,” White said. “Our pressure
was really good.”
Then, Macon County scored 11 consecutive points early in the third
quarter, with Gregory and Jamie Ashburn making 3-pointers.
The margin swelled to 53 points as Mix tossed in the team's 11th
3-pointer with four seconds remaining in the third period.
The fourth quarter moved quickly as the 35-percent, mercy rule was
enacted, resulting in a continuously-running clock for the remainder
of the game.
Red Bank shot 38 percent from the field but took 18 less shots
than the Tigerettes. The Lady Lions were just 1 of 6 from three-point
range and 7 of 15 from the free-throw line.
For the second consecutive game, Macon County held a team to a
season-low point total, which also occurred in the team's 37-28 win
over Upperman in last Thursday Region 4-AA Tournament championship
“We can rely on everybody to do their job, to do their part and
play their role,” Mix said. “Our defense is so good because we
know that someone is always going to come help you. You can rely on
your teammates. That fuels our fire even more.”
Gregory poured in a game-high 22 points, making 7 of 10 field-goal
attempts (including 5 of 8 3-pointers). The University of Tennessee
at Martin commitment also had four steals.
Carter made all nine of her field-goal attempts, leading to 21
points. The Class AA Miss Basketball finalist also had seven rebounds
and eight assists.
“Once again, the two stalwarts – Carter and Gregory – were a
pretty good show tonight,” White said.
Shoulders joined Gregory, Carter and Woodson in double figures,
providing 10 points.
“We were pretty confident in what we could do,” Woodson said.
“We were confident that we could win, but it's surprising (to win
by 45 points).”
Two of the Class AA State Tournament quarterfinal contests will be
played on Wednesday evening at Middle Tennessee State University's
Murphy Center, with the other two to be played on Thursday morning.
The semifinals will be played on Friday afternoon, with the
championship game slated for Saturday afternoon at 3:30.
The Tigerettes face Maplewood in the final of the four
quarterfinal games at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday.
“I feel so fortunate,” Mix said. “I don't feel like I ever
expected it (reaching the state tournament four times). I'm so
blessed to be a part of such a great team and great coaches. It's
Macon County 83, Red Bank 38
RED BANK (38) – Bailey Lee 17, Reijeria Bell 11, Arteya
MACON COUNTY (83) – Jalynn Gregory 22, Keeley Carter 18,
Saranda Woodson 11, Abby Shoulders 9, Marah King 6, McKaylee Mix 6,
Jamie Ashburn 5, Graci Scott 2.
Half: 53-18, Macon County. Three-point goals: Red Bank 1 (Bell 1),
Macon County 11 (Gregory 5, Mix 2, Shoulders 2, Ashburn 1, Carter 1).
Records: Red Bank 27-7, Macon County 32-1.
Class AA sectional scores
Gatlinburg-Pittman 44, Elizabethton 42
Grainger 60, Carter 45
Upperman 44, Meigs County 42 (double overtime)
Maplewood 56, Marshall County 27
Nolensville 35, Westmoreland 31
Westview 50, Covington 45
Melrose 57, Crockett County 47