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Lebanon buries Kenwood with 3-pointers

Jimmy Trodglen/Tnsports360.com

By Jimmy Trodglen

Editor

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Dennis Pardue spent his share of time preparing for Kenwood’s Region 5-AAAA Tournament game with Lebanon.

The Kenwood coach watched ten tapes on Lebanon before the quarterfinal game Saturday.

In all those hours of game tape, Pardue never witnessed Lebanon shoot the way it did against the Knights.

Lebanon hit nine 3-pointers in the first half and shot over 60 percent from the floor, forcing the Knights into a deficit that proved too great to overcome, winning 81-60 Saturday.

Lebanon hit six 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored 50 points by halftime. The Devils finished with 11 3-pointers for the game.

“We had ten different games on them and we never did see them shoot the ball that well,” Pardue said. “I think you have to give credit where credit is due. They stepped up and made them.”

Kobe Neable hit eight of Lebanon’s 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 28 points. Eddie Jackson scored 26 with Tay Jackson and Noah Mulaski adding eight points each.

Lebanon improved to 24-7 and will play Station Camp in the Region 5-AAA Tournament semifinals at Clarksville High Tuesday. It’s the most wins for Lebanon in a season since 2001, sand the deepest its has traveled into the postseason in over a decade.

Kenwood’s Matthew Norl finished with a team-high 19 points, despite leaving the game for a few minutes in the first half after falling awkwardly while diving for a loose ball.

The senior guard finished his career with over 1,200 points.

“I can’t say enough about Matthew Norl and what he’s meant to this program for four years and DeAndre Radcliff,” Pardue said. “It’s sad to see guys like that leave, but we are excited for Matthew to turn over the next chapter of his career and play college basketball.”

Norl hasn’t made a decision yet on where he will play, although several programs have shown an interest.

Tyree Boykin added 13 points for the Knights while Keith Dowlen had 12. Loriso Hill added eight.

Kenwood finished its season 21-10.

“We’ve had a good season, even though it didn’t end the way we wanted it to end,” Pardue said.

Kenwood found itself in trouble almost immediately with Neable hitting five 3-pointers in the first quarter.

The Knights never held the lead and trailed 28-16 at the end of the first quarter.

“After the first quarter we kind of looked and we should have been down more than what we were,” Pardue said. “Even at halftime we didn’t feel terrible about the position we were in.

“Teams shoot that way in the first quarter you know it’s not going to continue,” Pardue added. “But they’re a very good team. They’re not where they are, advancing, by not being a very good team.”

Lebanon continued it shooting pace in the second quarter, leading by 18 points before Kenwood cut the margin to 15, trailing 50-35 at halftime.

Seven times this season, Kenwood held its opponent to 50 or fewer points for the game, with the halftime score looking more similar to some of Kenwood’s district games.

To their credit, the Knights made a run at Lebanon and cut the deficit to nine points before trailing 62-51 heading into the fourth quarter.

“We were only down nine points and we only needed a couple of stops to get really within striking range,” Pardue said.

“When you’re down the margin that we were early, you have to string together seven, eight stops in a row to try to get back in it and we were unable to do that.”

Any thoughts of the Knights continuing to trim the margin were short-lived with Lebanon quickly pushing its lead to 16 points and the eventual 21-point final margin.

“I was proud of the way our kids responded,” Pardue said. “It wasn’t easy responding to the position we were at and to keep trying to get back in it.”

Jimmy Trodglen, editor, Twitter@Tnsports360.