Nashville Christian girls aim for extended stay in return to regional hoops tournament

Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 8:39pm

Usually it is the high profile Nashville Christian School boys basketball team that makes a run to the region tournament.

However, for the second time in as many years it is the NCS girls who will carry the school’s banner into the Region 5-A tournament, this time as a result of a third-place finish in the district tourney.

To do so the Eagles overcame the loss of two starters who transferred to other schools before the school year even started. Their absence contributed to a poor start.

Yet the NCS has won six of its past seven games and has pulled over the .500 mark at 15-14. The lone loss is that stretch was to district champ McEwen.

NCS heads to Murfreesboro Friday for a quarterfinal matchup with Middle Tennessee Christian.

“We’ve very excited about getting to the region for the second straight year,” coach Brandon Wood said. “We’ve been playing especially well lately.”

About his departed starters, Wood said, “As I’ve told my team, you can only control what you can control and you can’t worry about the rest.

“You have the expectation that you only lose the players who will graduate from your school. But when players transfer out, it’s tough.”

The mainstay for NCS has been wing player Bailey Maddox who averages about 15 points and six rebounds per game. Seniors Anna Abbott and Addy Dillon have provided strong leadership.

Maddox has contributed to the hot streak, which included lopsided victories over Clarksville Academy (66-32) and White House-Heritage (55-36) during last week’s district tournament.

Last season, the Eagles lost their first game of the region tournament, something they hope won’t happen again.

“Middle Tennessee Christian is extremely well coached and strong fundamentally,” Wood said. “Their coaches do a great job. They just don’t make mistakes. It will be exciting and it will be a tough but great atmosphere.”

Briefly

• Ensworth has combined its two DII sectional home games this weekend to a doubleheader Friday night. The girls host Brentwood Academy at 6 p.m., while the boys follow against Battle Ground Academy at 7:30 p.m. Winners advance to the state tournament at Lipscomb March 1-3.

• Unlike most of other area tournaments, the entire Region 6-AAA will be held at one place, Hillwood High. It begins Friday with four quarterfinal games and continues Saturday with four more quarterfinal games.

Other regions hold quarterfinal games at home sites.

BASKETBALL SCHEDULES

Region 6-AAA
(at Hillwood High)

Quarterfinals
Friday’s games (girls): Cane Ridge vs. Hillsboro, 4 p.m.; Independence vs. Overton, 7 p.m.
Friday’s games (boys):
Cane Ridge vs. Ravenwood, 5:30 p.m.; Independence vs. Hunters Lane, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday’s games (girls):
Antioch vs. Franklin, 4 p.m.; Brentwood vs. Hunters Lane, 7 p.m.
Saturday’s games (boys):
McGavock vs. Hillsboro, 5:30 p.m.; Brentwood vs. Antioch, 8:30 p.m.

Monday’s games
Girls semifinals:
6, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s games
Boys semifinals:
6, 7:30 p.m.

Region 5-AA
Quarterfinals

Friday’s games (girls): Goodpasture at Christ Presbyterian Academy; Sycamore at David Lipscomb; M.L. King at Westmoreland; Hume-Fogg at Macon County. All at 7 p.m.
Saturday’s games (boys): Sycamore at Christ Presbyterian Academy; Westmoreland at East Lit; Maplewood at Greenbrier; David Lipscomb at Macon County. All at 7 p.m.
Monday’s games
(at Stratford High)
Girls semifinals:
6, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday’s games
Boys semifinals:
6, 7:30 p.m.

Region 5-A
Quarterfinals
Friday’s game (girls):
Nashville Christian School at Middle Tennessee Christian, 7 p.m.

Sectionals
DII-AA
Friday’s games (girls):
Harpeth Hall at Girls Preparatory School, 6 p.m., CT; Brentwood Academy at Ensworth, 6 p.m.; Pope JPII at St. Benedict, 6 p.m.; Father Ryan at Briarcrest, 6:30 p.m.
(Boys): Battle Ground Academy at Ensworth, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday’s games (boys): Baylor at McCallie; Montgomery Bell Academy at Briarcrest; Father Ryan at Christian Brothers, 6 p.m.
Winners advance to state at Lipscomb March 1-3.
DII-A
Friday’s games (girls): Jackson Christian at Knoxville Webb; Ezell-Harding at Harding Academy; University School of Jackson at Franklin Road Academy; University School of Nashville at Fayette Academy.
Saturday’s games (boys): Evangelical Christian School at Donelson Christian Academy; University School of Nashville at St. George’s; Harding Academy at Franklin Road Academy; Knoxville Webb at Lausanne.
Winners advance to state at Lipscomb March 1-3.