By: Jim Steele
McKenzie enjoyed a pretty good start to 2018 with a pair of victories. The Rebels and Lady Rebels each swept Milan and Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central last Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Thursday night, Jacey Davis launched 15 points as the Lady Rebels defeated visiting Milan 57-35. Lilli Bennett scored 12, Shelby Butler nine and Shelby Davis eight to lead McKenzie to the victory. Ella Frazier had 10 points and Iyanna Hill scored nine for Milan.
McKenzie's Rebels took down the visiting Bulldogs in the nightcap, 59-46. Lucas King scored 18, Ben Austin tossed in 13, Nate Whitsell scored 10 and Micah Austin added nine.
Devante Herron led Milan with 15, followed by Terrick Glenn with 12 and Tyler Johnson with 11.
Those Thursday victories helped set the table for a pair of District 13A victories Friday evening.
In the opener, the Lady Rebels scored nine three-pointers, raced to an 18-5 first-quarter lead and doubled up the visiting Lady Tigers 58-29. McKenzie worked the ball in the halfcourt, but took advantage of transition. Central's Faith McWilliams knocked out a three to start the game and the Lady Tigers stymied McKenzie in the early going. It took two-and-a-half minutes for the Lady Rebels to score its first hoop, but from there, they went on an 18-2 run.
Jacey Davis hit the first of her three triples and rang the bell two other times in the paint. She finished with 17 points. Brylee WIlliams tacked on two freebies and Haley Hughes followed with another deuce as Central tried to keep pace. Williams connected on three free throws, but McKenzie's Shelby Davis and Shelby Butler heated up as the half neared. McKenzie took a 33-13 lead at the break.
Williams' bucket with 4:09 to play in the third cut McKenzie's lead to 16. She connected from the arch early in the fourth and the Lady Tigers trimmed the lead to 14 with 6:53 to play in the game. That was as close as Central would get. McKenzie ran off 14 points without response and came away with the victory.
Williams led the Lady Tigers with 14, Olivia Lowry had five, Hughes scored four, MCWilliams three, Madison Johnson two and Makayla Burton one.
Following Jacey Davis, Shelby Butler scored 11, Shelby Davis notched seven, Whitley Smith scored six.
In the nightcap, McKenzie got off to a sloppy start, but righted the ship and rolled to a 30-7 lead between the first and second quarters. The Rebels enjoyed a lot of depth in their early production. But Lucas King had the hot hands early. He scored 11 first-half points and led the Rebels with 18.
Mason Binkley bottomed a triple, Gage Lowry and Zane Mebane broke Rebel sprees with buckets and Davion Harris buried a three with 2:39 left in the half. But McKenzie took a 38-11 lead into the locker room.
The Rebels managed to reach the 35-point plateau in the third frame and McKenzie started the fourth with a 59-20 lead. The two teams finished with a running clock.
Justin Haskins, Lowry and Harris each had three, Brayden Frye, Jacob Ervin and Mebane each scored two to lead the Tigers.
Nate Whitsell scored eight, Lane Horton and MIcah Austin each had seven, West Cook tossed in six, Lazarick Hill and Ben Austin each had five, Stephone Hayes and Tyler Spivey scored two for McKenzie.
Central hosts Huntingdon Tuesday and Clarkburg Friday.
McKenzie played a matinee in Camden Monday and will play a boys-only game against Natchez Trace Youth Academy at McEwen Tuesday. McKenzie visits Huntingdon Friday.