By Kris Freeman, Sports Information Director
WHITE HOUSE – After a disastrous first half, the White House Middle School Lady Devils pulled off one of the best comebacks in program history on Monday night, rallying from 15 points down in the second half to defeat Hawkins, 32-28, in the final home game of the 2018-19 season.
Trailing 23-10 at the intermission, and then giving up another two points in the third quarter, White House methodically chipped away at the lead with full-court pressure defense and creating nine turnovers in the third period alone.
White House closed the game on a 22-3 run.
By two minutes to go in the game, White House had tied it at 28-28, and eighth grader Marley Mills made one of the biggest defensive plays of her career. Leading scorer Tiaunna Mayes had 11 points for the Lady Commandos in the first half, but never scored in the second as Hawkins had trouble advancing the ball into the half court offense under immense pressure.
White House turned it over with 1:37 to go, and beat the press with Mayes sprinting down the lane 1-on-1 against Mills, who got straight up and cut off the access to the basket, forcing Mayes to spin and throw up a wild shot that Mills grabbed for the rebound. She turned, outlet a pass to Marley Hyde who found a wide open Avery Droz for the go-ahead basket with 1:16 to go.
Hawkins then threw the entry pass all the way down the court where Carmen Perkins saved it inbounds and White House quickly raced into the front court and converted for the four-point edge. Mills scored the final points of the game when Hyde crossed a delivery with a double-hand overhead pass to her for a four-footer off the glass on the left side.
Despite having three starters with at least three fouls and Hyde playing with four, White House continued to turn up the defensive pressure and kept its eight grade leadership on the floor. The decision proved wise as Hawkins struggled time and again to move the ball up the floor. At one point, the Lady Commandos turned it over on five straight possessions in the third.
White House improved to 10-5 (5-4) for the season with one more road game Thursday at Knox Doss at Drakes Creek at 5:30, then Saturday’s Sumner County Conference Tournament at Station Camp Middle School at 11 a.m. White House is the five seed and will play host and four-seed Station Camp, with the right to advance and face top-seeded and undefeated Rucker-Stewart.
As for Monday, the Lady Devils were led in scoring by Hyde with eight points, Perkins with seven, Droz and Mills six, Richardson three and Emily Seavers two.
Mayes had all 11 in the first half for Hawkins, then Bri Robinson added six points but missed all six of her foul shot opportunities which proved costly in the second half when the game was close in the fourth. Reagan Tate scored seven, Hannah Martin four, and that was it for the Commandos.
Hawkins fell to 5-8 overall and White House swept the season series against the Lady Commandos.