Dickson County’s Ryann Roberts (3) and Olivia Rhinehart (21) try and prevent Mt. Juliet’s Emma Palmer (45) from scoring.
Photo: Howard Abell/Mid Tenn Sports
By Lucas Panzica
DICKSON, TN – It was a raucous environment at Dickson County High School on Saturday night, as the Mt. Juliet Golden Bearettes (27-6) defeated the Dickson County Lady Cougars (28-6) 74-61 in the Girls AAA Sectional, stamping their ticket to the TSSAA state tournament in Murfreesboro.
“It was so loud in here” said Mt. Juliet head coach Chris Fryer, “but we’ve tried to prepare for that.
“We’ve worked the last two days with microphones and sound system blaring and screaming and having to make signals for calls.”
The Bearettes’ preparation paid off, staying composed through the first two quarters as the Lady Cougars fed off a frenzied crowd, outscoring Mt. Juliet 22-17 in the first quarter, and leading 37-36 at the half.
Dickson County shot lights out in the first half, going 15-of-27 from the floor, and hitting six three-pointers. However, Mt. Juliet was able to keep pace through junior post player Emma Palmer, who went 11-of-11 for 25 points in the first half. Palmer finished with a game-high 35 points and 8 rebounds.
“I think everybody around the mid-state knows her and knows how she can play and what she is capable of, she came and brought her A-game tonight, that’s for sure” continued Fryer.
Palmer slowed down in the third quarter, drawing double teams to only score two points, however her Bearette teammates stepped up to hit open shots. Senior Tee Davis scored 15 second half points to finish with 20, and Dickson County struggled to respond offensively.
“They had some other players step up there in the second half” said Dickson County coach Erin Webb, “we just had a difficult time scoring.
“Other people stepped up, and she (Palmer) still kind of did what she wanted to with us there at the end. She’s good, she’s a beast player.”
At the end of the third quarter, Mt. Juliet led 52-47. The Bearettes pulled away in the final period, outscoring Dickson County 22-14 to win 74-61. While Dickson County was able to hit 10 three-pointers in the game, it was a 55.6 percent shooting night for Mt. Juliet that ultimately outlasted the home team.
For Dickson County, senior Raegan Purvine shot lights out in her final game as a Lady Cougar, going 9-of-15 from the floor and 6-of-10 from beyond the arc for 25 points. Her fellow senior Ryann Roberts was second in scoring with 14. Both got a standing ovation as they were subbed out in the final minute.
“For me to be their third head coach in high school is hard” said an emotional Webb after the game, “and they accepted me immediately. They bought in to what I was trying to sell them immediately, and I think because they did, everybody else did too.
“They are to credit for this amazing season.”
Dickson County ends its season with a 28-6 record as D11AAA and R6AAA champions, while Mt. Juliet improves to 27-6, and heads to Murfreesboro for the state quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Mt. Juliet: Emma Palmer 35, Tee Davis 20, Reghan Grimes 8, Ryleigh Osborne 6, Navaeh Majors 5
Dickson County: Raegan Purvine 25, Ryann Roberts 14, Olivia Rhinehart 13, KK Curtis 5, Caty Roberts 4