T.J. Morgan, Jobe Publishing, Inc.
Just 24 short hours after the Cumberland County Panthers and Lady Panthers defeated the Russell County Lakers and Lady Lakers they faced the tall task of matching up against the hosting and number one seed Hornets and Lady Hornets. Cumberland never trailed Sunday night against Russell County, winning both games in convincing fashion.
Metcalfe and Cumberland County fans came out in droves Monday night and packed Metcalfe County High School for the first-round district matchup. The Lady Panthers weren’t able to replicate their success from Sunday night, as the Lady Hornets jumped out to an early lead and never took their foot off the accelerator. Rallying behind Kassady London’s 21 points, Metcalfe defeated Cumberland 58-39. The Lady Hornets advance to the 16th district championship Thursday night, as they await the winner of the Lady Bulldogs and Lady Falcons.
The Panthers jumped out to an early lead in the boys’ matchup, but the Hornets would take the lead halfway through the first quarter and never relinquish it. Being led by Wyatt Blythe’s 17 and Jax Allen’s 13 points, the Hornets would take the first-round matchup, 62-50. The Hornets will now play in the boys’ final Friday night, also awaiting the winner of Clinton and Monroe County.
While the Hornets and Lady Hornets both punched a ticket to Diddle for the 4th region tournament next week, their present goal will be to cut down the nets in front of their home crowd. Only twice in program history have the Hornets and Lady Hornets been able to claim district championships in the same year (1997 and 2021). Metcalfe will look to make history this week, accomplishing that feat for the first time in program history as the district host. Lady Hornets will play Thursday night at 7:00 PM followed by the Hornets Friday night at 7:00 PM.