By Kris Freeman for White House High School
WHITE HOUSE – The Macon County Tigers gave all they had to reach the District 11-AA championship game Thursday night at White House High School, but it was the perennial district champion which once again defended its crown.
Portland, with two state championships and a state runner up in the last three seasons, finished off the District 11-AA championship match in straight sets, after a near three-hour wait from the semifinals. Meanwhile, Macon County played a two-hour-plus match to defeat White House Heritage and then immediately played again. Portland won its fourth straight District 11-AA Championship.
The powerful and rested Lady Panthers took advantage with a strong start, winning the first two sets, 25-19 and 25-11. But in the third, the Tigers did not go down without a fight and forced a 25-23 final score.
Both teams advanced to the Region 6-AA Tournament on Tuesday at Camden. The Tigers will face top seed and host Camden at 4:30, then Portland will take on Creek Wood at 6:00. The two winners will play the championship game to follow.
Since moving down from District 9-AAA in 2016 when the Panthers finished third at 10-4, Portland has won four consecutive District 11-AA titles, with a 39-1 regular season record in district play. The only district defeat in the regular season came earlier this year at the hands of Macon County.
The Tigers renewed strength in district play was honored as head coach Brooke Smith was named the Co-Coach of the Year. The Tigers were 3-7 in district play last season.
Seniors Hallie Dickens and Allie Cliburn were named to the All-District 11-AA team from Macon County. Portland received three All-District honorees in sophomore Emma High, junior Anna McGlothlin and senior Jordyn Latimer, with senior Savanah Pippin named the District 11-AA Most Valuable Player for the regular season and the tournament.
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