Emery Baragona and Aliyah Hawkins jumped about as high as they possibly could Tuesday night after the Cumberland County Lady Jets battled for 32 minutes to upset No. 5-ranked White County 54-47 in Sparta.

The CCHS stars combined for 25 points to help the Lady Jets, the No. 9-ranked team in the state, jump out to an early lead and hold on for the impressive seven-point road win.

“We had lost three games in a row to three really good teams, but we were pretty frustrated,” said Cumberland County coach Kim Cram-Torres. “The players were frustrated, and they weren’t making shots. The biggest problem we thought was we didn’t like our pace of play, our sense of urgency.

“So we went back to work and that’s what we focused on, our pace and our urgency. The girls wholeheartedly looked at themselves in the mirror and made the changes we needed to make. We had an absolute great outing against DeKalb County last week, and that served as a spring board and a confidence booster for us to come into here.”

The win improves Cumberland County to 15-5 overall and 4-2 in the district. White County falls to 17-6 and 4-2.

“White County is a fantastic team,” Cram-Torres  said. “This environment at White County is tough to play in, but the girls’ couldn’t have been more prepared.” 

The game went back and forth from the opening tip. The Lady Jets led 12-9 after the first period and, after a White County surge, the Cumberland County advantage was cut to 27-25 at the intermission.

Baragona and Jalynn Baldwin caught fire in the opening part of the second half of action as the Lady Jets moved out to a 40-32 lead heading into the fourth period.

“I think this has redeemed their confidence in themselves,” Cram-Torres said. “If you’re around the game long enough, you will find there is so much importance in confidence, believing in yourself, your teammates, and I think over the last couple of weeks we really wanted to restore some confidence.”

Baragona led Cumberland County is scoring with 13 points. Baldwin and Hawkins scored 12 points each. Grace Baldwin chipped in with eight points and Abby Houston had seven. Jorja Anderson tallied two.

Celeste Reed led the way for White County with 17 points on the night. Nia Powers chipped in with 10. 

“There is never going to be a White County team that backs down or goes away,” Cram-Torres said. “We knew they were going to come back, and how a 10-point lead here is like a four-point lead everywhere else.”


Reed scores 19 in 70-51 loss to White County

The Cumberland County Jets got behind early Tuesday night at White County but never could catch up as CCHS dropped a 70-51 decision in Sparta.

“We weren’t very physical to start the game,” said Cumberland County coach Taylor Denney. “Their physicality bothered us a little bit. I thought we did a really good job of responding midway through the first quarter. We were a lot more physical, a lot more deliberate, and we started to get some things we wanted.” 

White County opened the game with a smothering full-court press, and the pressure gave the Jets trouble. Cumberland County led 21-10 at the end of the first period and 34-25 at the intermission.

Jaxon Reed set the pace for Cumberland County with 19 points. Braeden  Woodard scored 11, and Braden Leviner had nine. Ethan Dixon and Nolen Carter added four points. Dylan Smith and Jaydon Rodriguez tallied two points each. 

Tomas Paul and Thomas Brock scored 15 points each to lead White County.

“White County is really long and athletic, and their 1-3-1 zone is really good,” Denney said. “I thought we got some really decent looks at the basket, and I thought defensively we played pretty well.Their post offense got to us some; we didn’t do a good job of dealing with that. However, I was really happy with how hard the boys played no matter what was going on.”





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