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Triton Central, Morristown advance to county championship

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Morristown senior Cambie Poole lifts a shot over Southwestern senior Shelby Sipes Thursday at Morristown. The Yellow Jackets beat the Spartans in the first semifinal of the evening.
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Morristown senior Cambie Poole lifts a shot over Southwestern senior Shelby Sipes Thursday at Morristown. The Yellow Jackets beat the Spartans in the first semifinal of the evening.
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Triton Central guard Taylor Heath drives to the hoop against Waldron guard Hannah Sullivan on Thursday at Morristown.

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

MORRISTOWN — The intensity was dialed up Thursday.

The Triton Central and Waldron girls’ basketball teams left it all on the court in the second semifinal of the Shelby County Tournament. A physical contest between familiar foes proved to be a worthy nightcap.

Following a battle between Morristown and Southwestern, Class 2A No. 3 Triton Central held off Class A No. 9 Waldron in a 52-35 win. Triton Central trailed 8-7 at the end of the first quarter but outscored the Mohawks 17-8 in the fourth to advance to Saturday’s championship.

Triton Central sophomore Tenleigh Phelps was quiet in the opening quarter but scored 10 points in the second to help the Tigers build a five-point lead (23-18) at the break.

Phelps finished the game with 19 points and 12 rebounds — both game highs. TC sophomore center Bailey Stamper added 12 points, including two threes in the second half.

"I give Waldron and Coach (Anthony) Thomas credit," said TC head coach Bryan Graham. "One thing that stood out to me was other people stepping up early with our foul trouble. 

"We had no rhytm and no flow. It was one of those game that wasn't very pretty. You could tell both teams wanted to win really bad. They laid it all on the floor."

Waldron was led by recent 1,000-point scorer Morgan Wood (13 points), a senior guard, in the loss as the team moves to 10-5. Senior guard Hannah Sullivan added 10 points and seven rebounds for WHS. She scored seven points in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer, to keep her team in the game.

"We played hard,” said Waldron head coach Anthony Thomas. “We were in it. If we get a few more shots to fall, a good bounce here or there and who knows, it could have been different. I am proud of my team.”

The Tigers (15-1) finished the third quarter with a 35-28 advantage, thanks to five points from junior guard Maya Chandler and a corner three from Stamper.

Chandler, the MVP of the tournament last year, finished with seven points and nine rebounds.

TC finished the game 12 of 14 at the free throw line. Waldron (1 of 6) did not make a free throw Thursday until the fourth quarter.

Senior forward Victoria Shaw added seven points and six rebounds for WHS. Senior forward Abby Adams collected five rebounds.

Morristown vs. Southwestern

Morristown did not need a reminder. Falling to Southwestern approximately two weeks ago at home, the Yellow Jackets took care of business in the same gym Thursday in a 61-53 win.

Holding a one-point lead at halftime, Morristown used nine ponts from senior Brooklyn Langkabel in the third quarter to help seal the semifinal win. The Yellow Jackets outscored the Spartans 20-15 in the final quarter of play.

Southwestern guard Lexi Wilkins made three of her five shots from behind the arc in the third quarter to keep Southwestern within striking distance, but Morristown made 11 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter to advance.

Morristown led 11-10 after the first quarter and 28-27 at halftime.

Langkabel finished with a game-high 20 points. Yellow Jackets' senior Kenzie Logan added 15 points and sophomore Ryloe Kleine had six points (two threes) and four rebounds. Senior Cambie Poole scored eight points and junior Emma Theobald added seven points off the bench.

For the Spartans, Wilkins totaled a team-high 17 points. Senior forward Taylor Tatlock added eight points and 12 rebounds, while her little sister, sophomore sixth man Trinity Tatlock, finished with nine points and four rebounds. Freshman Lily Kerber added six points off the bench.

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.

Shelby Co. Tournament, Thursday

G1: Morristown 61, Southwestern 53

Player of Game: MT's Brooklyn Langkabel (20 pts).

G2: Triton Central 52, Waldron 35

Player of Game: TC's Tenleigh Phelps (19 pts, 12 rebs.)