Thursday, December 15, 2005

MA Patriots start 4-0 in district play

By BARRY BURLESON
Editor

Marshall Academy Patriots turned some heads last week in the early season race in District 1-AA.

They knocked off Kirk, Indianola and Bayou, all at home, to improve to 4-0 in the district and 13-2 overall.

“The guys are playing a solid brand of basketball right now,” head coach Craig Dailey said. “We have a lot of basketball left to play, but this definitely puts us in the district driver’s seat.”

The Lady Patriots went 1-2 against the same three opponents. They’re 15-8 overall and 2-2 in the district.

Patriots

Three players scored in double digits as the Marshall boys tipped off the important week with a 66-52 victory over Kirk.

John David Sanders led the attack with 22 points. John Greer and Thomas Rodgers were close behind with 17 and 15 points, respectively.

Sanders was six of eight from beyond the three-point line “and seemed to beat back every Kirk run,” Coach Dailey said.

“John (Greer) was steady throughout in the paint, and Thomas exploded in the fourth quarter with 14 of his 15 coming in the final frame.”

MA was up 35-25 at the half.

“Coach (Gerald) Austin has Kirk playing very good basketball as is evident with their upset of Lee,” Dailey said.

Perhaps the biggest of the three wins came Friday night when Marshall knocked off Indianola Academy 50-47.

“We had a very balanced offensive effort and without a doubt it was our best defensive effort of the year,” Dailey said.

Greer and Rodgers scored 14 each. J.D. Sanders added nine.

“John (Greer) and Thomas (Rodgers) are establishing a great 1-2 punch in the post,” he said. “J.D. (Sanders), Tyler (Sanders) and Will (Forester) each made huge baskets.”

The head coach also praised Rodgers’ defense – “for keeping their 6’9” man in check.”

The Patriots finished off the successful week Saturday with an easier 62-43 win over Bayou.

J.D. Sanders set the tone early, hitting five “threes” in the first quarter. He scored 20 in the game.

“Those five ‘threes’ pretty much ended the game before it got started,” Dailey said.

MA was up 23-9 at the end of the first quarter.

“The guys jumped out quickly and allowed an opportunity for me to get the bench some much-deserved minutes,” he said. “They played a great game.”

Rodgers and Forester added 14 points each.

“I have pushed Will (Forester) to be more aggressive offensively, and he responded well,” Dailey said.

Dailey and his Patriots played with heavy hearts on Saturday. Graham Carson, who played for Coach Dailey at Delta Academy, was one of three Ole Miss coeds, killed early that morning in a car accident.

“We had a very successful week with three big conference wins, but it was all put into perspective with a loss early Saturday morning,” Dailey said. “Graham (Carson) was in all of our hearts as we took the floor Saturday. Our program mourns the loss of a special young lady. She ‘believed’ more than anyone ever has.”

Lady Patriots

The Marshall girls got 20 points from Kim Shaw in a 50-40 district victory over Kirk Academy on Tuesday of last week.

Lindsay Taylor added 13 points, 12 of those coming on three-point shots.

The Lady Patriots were on top 29-18 at the halftime break.

Shaw also led in rebounding with seven. Chelsea Faulkenbery was the assist leader with five.

The inspired Lady Patriots fought Indianola tooth-and-nail Friday night before dropping a 62-58 decision.

They trailed 15-10 after one quarter, 32-26 at the half and 48-38 following three periods.

Coach Keith Taylor got some balanced scoring from his girls. Shaw gunned in 19, followed by Faulkenbery with 18 and Kriss with 11.

MA was 24 of 39 (61.5 percent) from the free throw stripe.

L. Taylor was the top rebounder with seven, and Jessica Taylor had four blocked shots.

Shaw’s 27-point, nine-rebound performance wasn’t enough Saturday against Bayou. MA lost 60-53.

Faulkenbery contributed 15 points.

MA was on top much of the way – 17-12 after one, 31-29 at the end of the third and 42-36 after three – but could not hold on in the fourth period.

The Lady Patriots committed 19 turnovers in the contest.

Schedule

Marshall Academy teams host Rossville Friday, starting at 4 p.m. and MHEA Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m.


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