The Lady Flames were slow getting out of the gate and fell behind 12-2 in the first five minutes. However, after a couple of timeouts to make adjustments by coach Marty Rowe, the contest completely turned around and Lee built up a 29-20 lead by halftime.
“We tried to go with a bigger lineup to start the game, but quickly had to revert back to a smaller group,” said coach Rowe, who has never lost to a Tennessee Wesleyan team. “Defense is going to be a key for this club and we also have some players who can hit the outside shots. We did have some post players come on and give us some good minutes. I expect we will improve in that area as the season progresses.”
German scored from all angles. She was a perfect 11-of-11 from the free-throw line. She was 7-of-11 from the field and canned four 3-point shots.
“Hollie is going to be one of our leaders,” added the coach. “No one works any harder in practice and when she comes in for extra work in the gym.”
Angela Spann teamed with German to help break the contest wide open with 3-point shots. Spann was 3-of-4 from long range and tallied 11 points. Kally Eldridge hit a pair of treys and added eight markers, while freshman Jenna Adams finished with seven markers and grabbed four rebounds.
The Lady Flames won the battle of the boards, 36-26. Karley Miller was the leader with seven and Spann also had four.
The Lee defense held the Lady Bulldogs to only 24 percent from the field and just 15 percent from behind the arc. Cody Houck did convert a pair of 3-pointers early and paced the visitors with nine points. Heather Gibson added seven. TWC also committed 35 floor mistakes.
Lee finished the game with 10 3-pointers and 36 percent shooting overall. They stepped to the free-throw line 26 times and converted 21.
“We expect to be a good free-throw shooting team,” noted Rowe. “Making those shots will be a key as we go deeper into the season.”
The Lady Flames return to action next Thursday and Friday hosting Morris College and Tennessee Temple in the annual Jack Souther Classic.
Flames 63, Crusaders 54
Lee coach Tommy Brown recruited Tyrone Caldwell as a point guard and freshman Chad Lee as a possible star for the future, but both reversed their roles in Saturday’s 63-54 homecoming win over Tennessee Temple.
Caldwell did much more than direct the traffic in the victory over the rival from Chattanooga. He finished with a game high 20 points, grabbed five rebounds, collected three assists and blocked two shots as the Flames battled back from a 28-23 halftime deficit.
Lee, who was playing high school ball for McCallie this time last season, showed no fear of the college ranks by canning 3-of-4 3-point shots, pulling down four rebounds and walking away with 11 important points.
The Flames had to overcome a 10-minute scoring drought in the opening half and were certainly on the ropes until outscoring the Crusaders 40-26 in the second half. Lee also went to work on the glass and finished the game with a 41-40 rebounding edge. Josh Henley and Johnny Godette contributed heavily with 10 boards apiece. Godette also put an explanation mark on the victory with a powerful jam off a missed shot.
“Tyrone has a calming effect on our team,” said coach Brown. “He even has a calming effect on me on the bench and that’s pretty hard to do. Chad had an excellent shooting stroke. He was well coached in high school and showed no fear playing under the homecoming lights.”
Ryan Westbrooks had a cold shooting night from the field, but he helped energize the Flames by making 8-of-8 charity tosses and finished with 18 points. Lee shot 36 percent from the field but made 8-of-21 treys (38 percent). The Flames knocked down 15-of-22 free throws.
The Lee defense held Temple to just 31 percent shooting from the field. The Crusaders made only three 3-pointers and were 13-of-19 from the free-throw stripe. The visitors were guilty of 15 floor mistakes and the Flames turned it over 17 times.
Corey Sanders paced the losers with 13 points and Josh Morris totaled 12. Lee’s defense held Temple’s leading scorer, Germeil Daniels to only six points.
Lee will travel to Newberry, S.C. next weekend and face Georgia College in the opening round of the Newberry Classic.