Thursday, December 22, 2005

MA splits with Rossville, MHEA; boys third in state’s AA

By BARRY BURLESON
Editor

Coach Craig Dailey hopes a loss last week after making the state’s top five in Academy AA is a wake-up call.

The Marshall Academy Patriots split before the Christmas break, losing to Rossville, Tenn., and beating Memphis-Area Home Education Association (MHEA).

Coach Keith Taylor’s Lady Patriots also split against the two schools – defeating Rossville and losing to MHEA.

Patriots

Thomas Rodgers’ 23-point effort wasn’t enough against Rossville Friday at home. MA, ranked number three, lost 71-56.

“Reality is you’ve got to show up to play every night, and we didn’t,” Dailey said. “We had a good week with being recognized in the AA poll and felt real good about ourselves, and then we got brought back to reality.”

Rossville was 21 of 22 from the free-throw stripe. Marshall was eight of 17 with four missed front ends of one-and-one situations.

Will Forester was the only other Patriot to score in double digits with 12.

Avery Sales and Rydell Shields gunned in 32 and 22 points, respectively, for Rossville.

“In every championship run, I can remember a loss that defined the season – that woke the team up,” Dailey said. “Hopefully this was that kind of loss.”

The Patriots bounced back Saturday night at home with an impressive 66-51 victory over MHEA.

MA led 28-24 at the half.

John David Sanders hit for 17 points. Rodgers and Forester followed with 15 each. John Greer added 13.

Derrick Boyce had 19 for MHEA.

“As bad as we looked Friday night, we looked that good on the other spectrum Saturday,” Dailey said. “It was a big win. MHEA had recently beaten West Memphis Christian and Rossville.”

Dailey complimented the play of Sanders, Rodgers, Forester, Greer and Joe Cunningham.

“John David (Sanders) was a lot more aggressive offensively,” he said. “Thomas (Rodgers) was Thomas. I’d go to war with him any day.

“Will (Forester) has steadily increased his offensive production, and he had his best game of the year offensively, but my greatest accolades go to him for his defensive effort.

“John (Greer) played very aggressive offensively, and it parlayed into a good offensive night.

“Joe (Cunningham) had a very productive night as we weathered some early foul trouble. Tonight we needed him and he responded.”

The Patriots improved to 14-3 overall. They’re 4-0 in the district.

“I feel good about where we are going into the Christmas break,” Dailey said. “We’re taking eight days off to spend time with family and recharge the batteries.”

Next up is the prestigious Brookhaven Academy Holiday Invitational Tournament December 27-30. The MA boys play AAA’s number-five-ranked Hillcrest Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 5 p.m. Also in their bracket is AAA’s number-four team, Parklane.

“We wouldn’t want it any other way,” Dailey said. “Merry Christmas to the Marshall Academy family.”

Lady Patriots

Kim Shaw blistered the nets with 28 points Friday night as the Marshall girls turned back rival Rossville 55-44. Shaw hit three three-pointers.

Lindsay Taylor also scored in double figures with 14 and led the team in rebounding with seven.

Chelsea Faulkenbery led the defensive effort with six steals.

MA had a strong night from the free-throw line, hitting 16 of 21 (76.2 percent).

The game was knotted at 26 at the half.

The Lady Patriots struggled Saturday afternoon against the MHEA Lady Eagles and lost 52-35.

Shaw again was the leading point producer with 17. She also pulled down nine rebounds.

Faulkenbery added 11 points. Other top rebounders were L. Taylor and Allie Kriss with five each. MA was just four of 26 from beyond the three-point stripe and shot only five free throws in the game, hitting three.

The Lady Patriots break for Christmas at 16-9 overall and 2-2 in the district.

They also play in the Brookhaven Tournament December 27-30. They face Central Private School Wednesday at 3:40. Win or lose, they will play again Thursday.


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