CHARLOTTE – In a rematch of last season’s substate game, the Creek Wood Lady Red Hawks and Cheatham County Central Lady Cubs faced off in a thrilling game that came down to the wire.
Creek Wood held off Cheatham County for a 44-39 win. Cheatham County won the boys game 67-58, but that contest was much closer than the nine-point margin showed.
The Cheatham County Lady Cubs team are coming off a state championship, but that team was built a little differently than the current one. Last year’s squad had five seniors, four of which were starters, and now they are all gone. But just throwing Cheatham to the side and expecting them to fall apart is a mistake.
The Lady Red Hawks are coming off a season in which they lost to Cheatham County Central in the sectionals, so a rematch this early in the season was a nice test for both teams.
Creek Wood led by less than 10 points throughout the entire game as the Lady Cubs kept it close. The Lady Red Hawks held a 9-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and then a 22-18 lead at half. By the end of the third quarter, the Lady Red Hawks looked to pull away with a 31-25 lead, but the fourth quarter turned things upside down.
Creek Wood was up by as many as nine points, but with a lot of defense and some shot making, the Lady Cubs tried to make their way back into the game. But the Lady Red Hawks were able to make free throws and hold off Cheatham for the 44-39 win.
“That Cheatham team lost four starters off last year’s team, but those girls out there practiced against that every day, and they still know how to play,” Creek Wood coach Russell Wilson said. “They’re still a good team and it’s good to get a win over them.
“I thought we shared the ball well and played (unselfishly). We just didn’t shoot well from the perimeter. There at the end, we just made a few mistakes and (Cheatham is) a championship-caliber team, so they made a little run.”
Cheatham coach Jim Gibbs was not as pleased, though he said he understands he must be patient with his new team.
“I wasn’t disappointed in our first game (against RePublic), I just know it’s going to be a learning experience,” Gibbs said. “I thought tonight we went out and battled hard, and that’s something that I’ve preached to them. There are a lot of things that are out of your control on the court, but effort is something you can control, and I liked our effort. We had to play with that effort to give ourselves a chance, and that’s what we had.”
The boys game between was just as exciting as Creek Wood held a 20-15 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Cheatham fought back to tie the game at 30 heading into the half. The Cubs took a 37-32 lead in the third, but Creek Wood went on a 9-0 run right after to grab a 41-37 lead. The two teams fought back and forth, and Cheatham brought a 52-51 lead into the final quarter.
In that fourth quarter the Cubs were able to make shots, something Creek Wood was not able to do. Creek Wood also got into foul trouble as they were without Raekwonn Nesbitt late in the game. Cheatham played just enough defense and made just enough shots to finish the 67-58 victory.
“During the week, we worked on not going too fast and executing our offense,” Cheatham coach Josh Stuart said. “We hit some big-time shots tonight and some big-time free throws there at the end. I went into this season thinking we could score better, and we’ve got some guys that I think can score. We might suffer defensively and (with) rebounding because we are a little smaller, but we were able to score tonight, and we finally put it together.”
GIRLS BOX SCORE
Creek Wood (44): Autumn Burgess 11, Brianna Burgess 11, Allie Burgess 10, Emily Michael 10, Laura Nichols 2.
Cheatham (39): Alli Douglas 17, Harper Dee 6, Jesse Bumpus 4, Ansley Pfeffer 4, Carlie Hogan 3, Katelyn Sisco 3, Kayla Johnson 2.
BOYS BOX SCORE
Cheatham (67): Silas Hunter 20, Brandon Chandler 11, Tristan Lee 11, Andrew Mayberry 7, DJ Edmondson 6, Will Belew 4, Jackson Morris 4, Tucker Carter 2, Maverick Lee 2.
Creek Wood (58): Tyler Neely 18, Bryson Payton 12, Rex Edmondson 10, Cole Adams 6, Kayden Austin 6, Raekwonn Nesbitt 4, Brandon Porter 2