Craig Harris/Macon County Times Macon County High junior guard Abby Shoulders dribbles into the lane as Westmoreland sophomore Alana Eakle defends.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Macon County High junior guard Abby Shoulders dribbles into the lane as Westmoreland sophomore Alana Eakle defends.

WESTMORELAND -- The Macon County High School girls basketball team was admittedly caught off guard when it suffered a 46-43 loss to visiting Westmoreland on Nov. 25.

However, the Tigerettes were determined not to allow that to happen again.

Macon County limited the Lady Eagles to a season-low point total in a 46-29, road win on Friday evening.

"It was very shocking," Tigerette junior point guard Jalynn Gregory said of the earlier loss. "It showed us we can't fool around with any team. We have to come out and give everybody our best."

Macon County won its 12th consecutive game on Friday.

Conversely, after opening the season with 11 consecutive wins, Westmoreland has lost three of its last five contests (including a 36-31 setback to Ravenwood in the Overton Christmas Tournament and a 50-45 loss at Gallatin).

"We think they can make the state tournament," Tigerette head coach Larry White said. "E.J. (Perry, the Lady Eagle head coach) is doing a great job. I told him before the game that I think they have a great shot at getting to Murfreesboro (where the state tournament is played)."

Gregory added, "After losing to them, we really wanted to come back and prove we were better and could beat them."

The Lady Eagles shot 40 percent from the field but had just 27 field-goal attempts, 13 less than Macon County. Westmoreland shot just six free throws, committed 16 turnovers and was outrebounded by a 24-13 margin.

"Jalynn Gregory guarded (Lady Eagle senior point guard Avery) Morris, and Keeley Carter guarded 40 (sophomore forward Alana Eakle)," White said. "We never left them. Those two were not allowed to help (defensively). We were to give up a layup to the others (if necessary in order not to leave Morris and Eakle). We were trying to deny the ball back against them, but that was hard for us to do. The other kids bought in. Saranda (Woodson) played really well."

Eakle and Morris scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the two teams' earlier meeting.

"It's mainly limiting her penetration," Gregory said of the focus in defending Morris. "Then, we don't want her hitting wide-open threes. We tried to limit that."

The contest was tied when Tigerette senior Keeley Carter made a 10-footer with 1:27 left in the first quarter, and classmate McKaylee Mix banked in a 3-pointer one minute later.

Then, Carter tossed in a pair of 3-pointers over the first two minutes of the second stanza, and junior teammate Abby Shoulders drove into the lane for a layin 30 seconds later, giving Macon County a 21-9 lead.

However, two free throws from Morris, a 3-pointer from Eakle and Jordan Bandy's layin helped Westmoreland pull back to within seven points (23-16) at halftime.

However, Carter scored the first six points of the third quarter.

"We got the ball inside," White said. "We didn't shoot the ball well, but they defend well.

"We executed like we wanted to."

Gregory concluded the third-quarter scoring by catching a kick-out pass from Carter and tossing in a 3-pointer.

Then, Gregory scored the first three points of the final period also, creating a 20-point cushion (37-17).

The Lady Eagles produced just one point over the first 10-plus minutes of the second half.

"It's extremely important," Gregory said of the defensive effort. "On that end, that's where they score. We all have to lock up on our man, help each other, be there and play good defense."

Westmoreland trimmed the lead to 13 points on Bandy's 3-pointer with 2:53 remaining, but Gregory, Shoulders and Emily Ashburn combined to make 7 of 8 free-throw attempts over the final 2:07.

The Tigerettes - who welcomed back senior center Marah King (who missed multiple games due to an injury) on Friday - converted 13 of 18 free throws.

Carter finished with a game-high 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals. She made 5 of 8 field-goal attempts.

Gregory scored 13 points.

"We look at it as we know this team is good," Gregory said. "They're extremely good defensively.

"Coming in, we have to give everybody our best shot."

Eakle and Morris led the Lady Eagles offensively with eight and seven points, respectively.

"This makes us two-to-one better," White said of facing quality competition. "We went to great lengths to do that.

"We're looking forward to district play."

Macon County travels to Livingston on Friday for a district contest at Livingston Academy.

Macon County girls 46, Westmoreland 29

MACON COUNTY (46) – Keeley Carter 16, Jalynn Gregory 13, Saranda Woodson 7, Abby Shoulders 4, McKaylee Mix 3, Marah King 2, Emily Ashburn 1.

WESTMORELAND (29) – Alana Eakle 8, Avery Morris 7, Jordan Bandy 5, Leah Kendall 4, Emma Wright 3, Paige Akins 2.

Half: 23-16, Macon County. Three-point goals: Macon County 5 (Carter 2, Gregory 2, Mix 1), Westmoreland 3 (Eakle 2, Bandy 1). Records: Macon County 14-1, Westmoreland 13-3.