By: Jim Steele
McKENZIE, Tenn. - It's hard to believe that teams are playing basketball now, but Gleason visited McKenzie to open the middle school basketball season Thursday night.
The Rebels used transition basketball and stifling defense to subdue the visiting Bulldogs 47-9 in the nightcap. In the opener, Gleason pressure didn't stagger the Lady Rebels as much as it usually does, but the Lady Bulldogs basically made more shots in capturing a 36-22 victory.
McKENZIE BOYS 47, GLEASON 9: The host Rebels forced 30 turnovers and limited Gleason to just four field goal attempts in the first half as they took control of the game early. Transition basketball was the rule for the night as the Rebels limited Gleason looks, got in passing lanes and took aim for the bucket.
McKenzie led 14-2 after one and held a 24-4 lead at the half.
The Rebels spread the wealth, too. Tyree Owens led the Rebs with 10 points. Keenan Taylor scored eight, Jack Surber seven, Montrell Adkisson and Noah Lowrance six each, Braden Nanney three, Noah McCann two, but led the Rebs with six rebounds.
Keaton Collins led the Bulldogs with five points. Solano added four.
McKenzie held a 21-18 rebounding edge and was 18-49 shooting. Gleason was 3-10 from the floor.
GLEASON GIRLS 36, McKENZIE 22: Gleason tried to enforce its vicious full-court press and forced 16 McKenzie turnovers, but that didn't doom the Lady Rebels. Gleason took more shots, controlled the paint and was more aggressive.
The Lady Bulldogs ran to an 11-0 lead, was 5-12 in the opening frame and forced six early MMS turnovers. But McKenzie settled down. While it had problems finding the mark, Gleason basically had command of the game, but held off a McKenzie team that settled in and got in an offensive rhythm.
Anna Comer had the hot hand and no fear of shooting. She racked up 11 points to lead the Lady Rebels. The sixth-grader was 5-8 from the floor with a triple. Courtney Broadbent shook off foul trouble to score six points. Carissa Britt and Infiniti McMackin each had two and Kelsey Spivey scored one.
Courtney Taylor led Gleason with 10.
McKenzie hosts Dresden 6 p.m. Monday.