East Girls Upset, Still Hang on to Top Spot

Jim Fey, East High School head coach

NASHVILLE, TN — Metro basketball fans that attended the Maplewood-East Nashville games this past Friday were treated to some great basketball. The Maplewood Lady Panthers (10-5 overall, 7-2 metro and 6-1 10AA) moved up to three spots to fourth in this week’s Wallace Media Group Metro Sweet 16 by the top ranked East Lady Eagles (17-4, 9-1 and 6-1) 56-51. The victory broke a 28 game winning streak over metro school by the Lady Eagles.

The Lady Panthers used a balanced attack to secure the victory. Freshman sensation MI Mi Hodges sand teammate Lapriara Ward both scored 11 points. Veteran Amber Appiah-Kubi and Essence Johnson added 10 apiece. East Tennessee State University signee Erica Haynes-Overton had another huge night registering, a triple-double with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 12 steals. Down one with a minute left, Hodges made two steals and converted them into layups to seals the victory.

“During the pregame we talked about scoring the ball efficiently and sharing the ball effectively,” said Lady Panther head coach Tristin Johnson.”  The girls listened and executed. We know thatErica is one of the best guards in the city. We wanted other people to beat us. We got it inside and that hurt them Essence’s presence and Cionna Harris played well on the defensive end. When they made a run we kept our composure.

In the nightcap, Hodges’ big brothers combined for 42 points in the third ranked Panthers’ (15-5, 8-1, 6-1) 89-70 victory over fourth ranked East (16-5, 8-3, 5-2). Senior Bo Hodges, coming off an injury, matched Haynes-Overton’s 32 points. The 2016 Class AA Mr. Basketball also grabbed 18 rebounds.  year he will join Haynes-Overton at ETSU. Senior guard Craig Blackshear scorched his former team with 25 points and BoBo Hodges added 10. East was led by Marques Whitman’s 21 points. Juniors Gene Holmes, Brian Thompson and Jayden Lockett added 14, 14 and 12 respectively.

“We just didn’t have an answer for him tonight,” said East head coach Jim Fey of Bo Hodges. “When he plays like that no one in this state can guard him. Blackshear killed us as well. Maplewood is really talented.”