Panther Party

Bartlett celebrates clinching a spot in 2024 Class 4A State Tournament next week

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Bartlett*s K.J. Neville conttrols the ball during the match.
Photos by Thomas Sellers, Jr.

The Bartlett Lady Panthers are The Bartlett Panthers raced back to the locker room Monday night with a comfortable lead over the Dickson County Cougars. 

With the student section in full blast in the Bartlett High School Gymnasium and most of the Panther faithful confident in their team being 16 minutes away from clinching a spot in next week’s Class 4A Boys State Basketball Tournament, Head Coach Dion Real’s team was still locked in and focused on finishing the Sectional Round. 

Led by Christian Alston and R’chaun King in the post, Bartlett controlled the tempo leading to a 77-45 victory and Sub-State victory to book a spot in Murfreesboro. 

Real said the 31-4 overall record, District 15-4A title and Region 8-4A championship validated the potential he saw in his 2023-24 Panthers weeks ago.

“About mid-December, they started gelling well and kept fighting,” he recalled. “I am super proud of them tonight.”

A roster with talent like KJ Neville, Jack Shackelford and Dylan Jones, Real said the turning point for his team reaching State came off the court.

“Its more so of our seniors managing it all, Christian Alston, R’chaun King, DJ McIntyre and Jack Shackelford won over the locker room and controlled the locker room from day one. It’s been a daily struggle for them, they’ve been fighting to keep it all on track.”

Against the Cougars the Panthers jumped out to a 15-7 lead with a balance of three-pointers and shots in the interior. The Panthers used a 16-2 run to open up a 31-9 lead midway in the second quarter. 

By the break the Panthers were ahead 44-19 when Jones drilled a triple from the top of the key at the buzzer. 

In the second half the Panthers executed solid defense while tallying 33 points to ice the contest.

Now the Panthers are in the Elite Eight of the state of Tennessee and will participate in the State Tournament which will be held March 13-16 at the Charles M. Murphy Athletic Center. The Murphy Center has hosted TSSAA State
basketball tournaments since 1973.

Real said his team has a real shot at bringing home the ‘Gold Ball.’ It’s going to take another two weeks of what he has seen blooming since December. 

“Great attitude, unbelievable energy because everybody is going to play hard, so I am going to say effort,” he concluded. “It’s going to take some really, really locked in focus.”

  • Admission
    General Admission
  • $12 per day if purchased in advance online through GoFan. (GoFan tickets will be redeemed at Gate E-6. Please have your ticket(s) pulled up on your mobile device prior to arrival.)
  • •$15 per day if purchased with cash at the gate (Gate E-4).
  • •School-age children and older are required to have a ticket.
  • •TACA cards will be honored when presented with a matching photo ID at the pass gate (Gate E-2).
  • •TSSAA ID cards and TMSAA ID cards will NOT be accepted for admission.
  • School administrators who are registered on the TSSAA Portal can sign-in for free admission at the pass gate (Gate E-2).
  • Parking is $5 per day near Murphy Center in the large parking lot on Greenland Drive. Due to road construction around the campus we encourage all attendees to allow for plenty of travel time.

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