White County boys cap perfect regular season

White County boys cap perfect regular season

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White County boys cap perfect regular season

White County’s Cade Crossland (00) dribbles towards the basket during Monday’s game against visiting Lebanon.

White County’s Cade Crossland (00) dribbles towards the basket during Monday’s game against visiting Lebanon.

SPARTA  — The White County High School boys basketball team put the finishing touches on a perfect regular season Friday, wearing down visiting Lebanon to capture an 82-71 win.

White County, ranked No. 2 in Class AAA, used a 14-2 first-quarter run to erase an early double-digit deficit, and, from there, the Cade Crosland-led Warriors maintained control almost the entire way.

“I think I was more nervous about playing Lebanon than I was about the perfect season,” said Crosland, whose squad escaped with a 71-69 win over the Blue Devils on Jan. 5. “We needed to beat Lebanon to show that we can beat some of these good teams in (Class) AAA, so that was a big deal.”

Crosland, who tallied eight 3-pointers, finished with a game-high 28 points to lead the Warriors (26-0), while teammates Cole Crosland (18) and Pierce Whited (14) also reached double-figures in the victory.

Lebanon, led by Eddie Jackson’s 18-point effort, trailed by as many as 12 in the second quarter, but thanks to a 10-0 third-quarter run, the Blue Devils battled back to take a 52-51 lead on Noah Mulaski’s 3-pointer from the corner.

“We got up by double-digits in the first half and I think we kind of let up,” White County coach Eric Mitchell said. “I guess we thought we were going to run them, but you don’t run good, well-coached teams like that.”

Jakeese Turner finished with 15 for Lebanon (21-6), which was unable to sustain its lead for more than a few possessions, while teammates Kobe Neuble (13) and Mulaski (12) also finished in double-figures.

“It was a great atmosphere in here with two high-level teams playing,” Lebanon coach Jim McDowell said. “They did what they do as far as shooting the ball from the perimeter, and I thought Cade Crosland was the difference maker tonight.

“He shot the ball well, but more than that I thought he really outworked us on the offensive glass.”

White County, the No. 1 seed in this week’s District 6-AAA, finished with 12 3-pointers in the win, giving the team 344 treys on the year — just two shy of setting the Tennessee Secondary State Athletic Association single-season record.

Reach Michael Murphy at 615-259-8262 and on Twitter @Murph_TNsports. 

Lebanon coach Jim McDowell encourages his team during the first half of Monday's game at White County.

Lebanon coach Jim McDowell encourages his team during the first half of Monday’s game at White County.

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