By Kris Freeman for White House High School
CHARLOTTE – The White House Lady Devils are riding a three-game winning streak coming out of a tough holiday break, but the team faces its biggest challenge in nearly two decades on Friday night at Creek Wood.
White House (10-8, 3-0) makes the trek west to Charlotte to face the Red Hawks (15-4, 1-0), and with a win, the Lady Devils would sit atop District 9-AAA all alone in first place with wins over all other district teams.
After years of struggle in the district, White House broke through last season and advanced to the region tournament with an overtime win over White House Heritage in the district. But a 16-15 finish ended at East Nashville in the Region 5-AA quarterfinals.
White House was moved to District 9-AAA in the realigned TSSAA classifications and placed with Portland, Greenbrier, Montgomery Central and Creek Wood. With Thursday night’s 51-26 win at Montgomery Central, the Lady Devils have victories over the first three.
Creek Wood, however, is a different animal.
The Lady Hawks are ranked sixth in the Class AAA power poll and have won seven straight and nine of their last 10. Creek Wood’s four losses are to Class AAAA No. 25 Brentwood (43-33), Class AAA No. 1 Page twice (61-41 and 66-46) and Class AA No. 3 Summertown (56-43).
After losing to Summertown, however, Creek Wood returned the favor with a 58-55 win in the second meeting, breaking a 16-game undefeated streak for the Eagles and giving them only their second loss in 36 games. The only other loss by Summertown was the state championship game last year to Loretto.
The Lady Hawks are led by junior guard Bri Burgess, who scored 21 and 22 points respectively in wins over Summertown and Harpeth. She eclipsed the 1,000-point scoring mark last year as a sophomore.
Creek Wood finished last season 29-6 and lost to Northview Academy in the Class AA state quarterfinals. Like White House, the Red Hawks moved up to the new Class AAA when TSSAA expanded to four classes.
White House at a glance
White House has its own threat with sophomore Marley Hyde averaging a double-double in the post, and senior guard Faithe Johnstone leading the team in assists and second in points and rebounds.
Johnstone is headed to Welch College after her senior year, and averages 10.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Fellow senior Chloe Hart, a two-sport athlete, is averaging 8.6 points and 4.6 rebounds.
The emergence of junior Abigail Bradley has given White House a presence from the outside, and she is the team’s leading three-point shooter and averaging 7.6 points. 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists, knocking down 5-of-6 threes for a career high 18 points this week against Greenbrier.
But the improvement and scoring in guard play creates defensive opportunities, and White House takes advantage by feeding the post where Hyde is one of the leading combo players in the midstate with 14.5 points per game and 10.7 rebounds. Hyde is a three-sport standout, a postseason honoree in soccer, basketball and track and field.
Rounding out the starting five is junior guard Carmen Perkins, averaging 4.6 points per game, but combining for almost four deflections or steals per contest. The two-sport standout is an All-District soccer player and active on defense for the Lady Devils, as the team is forcing nine steals and 16 turnovers per game.
Team Stats Improved
White House out-rebounds its opponents 34-23 on average and outscoring teams 50-39.
The Lady Devils are streaky, though, losing the first two, winning seven of eight, losing five straight in holiday tournaments, and then winning the last three.
White House is shooting 42 percent from the field, 60 percent from the line and 30 percent from three. All three stats are at least 10 percentage points improvements from one year ago.
White House at Creek Wood tickets are available at GoFan at this link.
The girls tip off at 6 pm followed by the boys at 7:30.
The games can be watched on The Blue Devil Network on Facebook Live.