By: Jim Steele
McKENZIE, Tenn. - In both middle school basketball games at McKenzie Monday night, the Lady Rebels and Rebels each got off to sluggish starts, but rallied to defeat Huntingdon in their respective games.
The McKenzie girls, behind the hot shooting of Infinity McClerkin, topped the Fillies 34-11. In the nightcap, a balanced effort by the Rebels overturned the Mustangs 36-23.
In the opener, Huntingdon darted to a 6-2 lead and created early turnovers to secure the advantage. But McKenzie started the second with a 10-0 run and didn't allow the Fillies to score until the 1:46 mark. Huntingdon turned it over 12 times in the second frame and McClerkin found her range, scoring six of her 12 points. MMS led 18-8 at the half and held Huntingdon scoreless in the third.
Courtney Broadbent's triple with :52 to play catapulted McKenzie to a 23-8 lead.
Leading 25-9 to start the fourth, the Lady Rebels fashioned a 9-0 run and cruisesd to the victory.
McClerkin had 12 points, Broadbent nine, Emma McDaniel six, Casi Lowrance four, Carissa Britt two and Quiana Carter one. Allyn Swenson led the Fillies with four points.
In the boys' game, McKenzie sputtered on the offensive end, missing its first seven shots, including point-blank chippies. Huntingdon took advantage and led 7-2 with 1:34 to play in the first canto. McKenzize started to heat up. Keenan Taylor buried a shot at the buzzer to give the Rebels their first lead of the night, 8-7.
Breshaun Oglesby started the second frame with a triple and began a game of swapout with the Mustangs. With 1:34 to play Chase Kelley scored, then Tyree Owens with :09 to play and McKenzie led 18-12 at the break.
McKenzie started to put the Mustangs at arm's length in the third. The Rebels led 26-16. In the final frame, Braden Nanney had the hot hand, nailing a bucket and a triple as the Rebels extended their advantage to 15, the largest lead of the game.
Owens and Oglesby each had seven to lead the Rebs. Taylor scored six, Nanney five, Kelley and Lowrance four each and Janson Davis three. Kolton McMinn led the Mustangs with 12.
McKenzie has a pivotal game at West Carroll 6 p.m. Tuesday night then will be off until Nov. 29 when Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central visits McKenzie for another key county battle.