Sycamore's Izzy McPherson, junior, with Cheatham's Montana Lee, sophomore, on Tuesday evening (Photo: The Post)
The Cheatham County Cubs and the Sycamore War Eagles basketball teams met up in Ashland City on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, for their first of two regular-season matchups.
To begin the rivalry on the hardwoods, the junior varsity girls took the court first. Strong defense, the ability to handle Cheatham's offensive pressure, and finding decent shots allowed the Lady War Eagles to take the Lady Cubs down, 28-22.
"I am really happy with how our JV squad is playing and developing," says Sycamore Head Coach Cody King. "They are bringing energy and hustle every time they step on the court."
Freshman Violet Geldner led the team in points for the second game in a row, tallying up nine; Geldner also added one rebound, one steal, and one block. Freshman Belle Gwyn put up five points, led the team with four rebounds, and contributed two blocks and one assist. Ella Dunlap, sophomore, added four points, three rebounds, and one assist.
Freshmen Violet Geldner and Josie Mae Boyd work to stop a Lady Cubs' offensive play in the JV game (Photo: The Post)
"While there is still room for improvement, it was a great game for the girls," says Assistant Coach Caity Denney.
Excitement and hunger were in the air for the varsity game to follow. Evenly matched, the score rarely fluctuated enough to give either team an upper hand. In the last 25 seconds of the game, and with Sycamore having a 36-35 lead, junior Izzy McPherson was sent to the foul line. Sinking both of her shots with ease, Sycamore was put in a prime position to win. The Lady Cubs scrambled multiple times to get a three-pointer to fall, but failed. For the first time in six seasons, Sycamore walked away with a win (38-35) in Cubs' territory.
"I am super proud of how we stayed focused and executed against a strong and motivated team," says King. ""We had an off-shooting night, but our defense held and we made some crucial plays down the stretch. Really happy, especially for our seniors, that hadn't won there in their careers."
From the very start of the game, the energy was high both on and off the court (Photo: The Post)
Junior Izzy McPherson continued her high-scoring streak with 22 points; she led the team in rebounds with eight. Senior McKinleigh Young racked up 12 points and two rebounds, and sophomore Anna Knight added four points, five rebounds, and one of only two game steals with the second being from freshman Josie Mae Boyd.
"I am proud of how composed we were in a very tense environment- we did not let the losing streak or moment get too big," King concludes about the much anticipated evening spent in Ashland City.
As far as what's to come, King states that the team is never content or done working. He expects the team to continually get better as they dive deeper into the district portion of their season where every game is "big."
The Lady War Eagles will once again face the Cubs, at Sycamore High, on January 27.
Next up for Sycamore: Friday, January 13 @ White House Heritage
Next up for Cheatham:Friday, January 13 @ Fairview