Thursday, January 12, 2006

Patriots finish third in tournament

By BARRY BURLESON
Editor

Two rivals, both ranked third in the state in their classifications, went head-to-head twice last week.

Marshall Academy and Delta split, the Patriots (Class AA) winning in Marks and the Raiders (A) winning in the semi-finals of the Magnolia Heights Memorial Classic.

On the girls’ side, the Lady Patriots lost two to Delta, ranked second in the state in Class A.

Patriots

Coach Craig Dailey, who previously coached at Delta, returned to his old stomping ground Monday night, Jan. 2, and his MA team handed the Raiders a 54-51 overtime setback.

John David Sanders lit up the scoreboard with 30 points.

“J.D. was unconscious,” Dailey said. “In pre-game I told J.D. they would struggle to cover him. I probably understated it.

“When he is on, he is as good as I’ve coached from the perimeter, and that’s pretty ‘high cotton.’ ”

John Greer added 10 points for the Patriots, and Thomas Rodgers scored eight.

“John hit some huge baskets, and Thomas did an exceptional job,” Dailey said.

Defense was also a big key. Marshall held Delta’s big man, 6’9” Lee Thompson, to 13 points.

MA trailed 28-19 at the half.

The Patriots opened play in the Magnolia Heights Memorial Classic on Thursday with a 50-35 victory over DeSoto, Ark.

MA led throughout, 15-8 after one quarter, 25-15 at the half and 38-22 following three periods.

Top point producers for the winning team were J.D. Sanders with 14, Will Forester with 13 and Rodgers with 12.

“We had a run of about six games where we weren’t able to play real deep in the rotation, and this game gave us a chance to get everyone more minutes,” Dailey said. “J.D., Will and Thomas all played very steady offensively.”

That first round win set up another battle with Delta on Friday. This one went to the Raiders, 41-38.

“It was a big-time defensive battle,” Dailey said. “We just didn’t make enough plays to win, and they did. It would have been a great championship game.”

J.D. Sanders led Marshall with 10 points. Rodgers and Forester added nine and eight, respectively.

Kyle Corbin was the difference for Delta. The 5’9” guard scored 16 points.

“It was one of those games where we just couldn’t get a break when we needed it,” said Dailey, whose team was up 21-19 at the half.

“Last week’s battles made both teams better, but I’m glad it’s over for all involved. Our program wishes them well as they go after the state A title.”

For the week (varsity and junior high) Dailey’s teams were 5-1 against his old school.

“I feel good about that, and I’m excited about where we’re headed.”

The Patriots then coasted to a 54-36 win over Marvell in the tournament’s consolation contest on Saturday. Their season record improved to 19-5.

They built a 30-17 halftime advantage.

Leading scorers in the victory were J.D. Sanders with 12, Forester with 11, Greer with nine and Rodgers with eight.

“The way the brackets were laid out, it made for an anti-climactic final day, but the boys handled the consolation game well,” Dailey said.

Lady Patriots

The Marshall Lady Patriots dropped 65-45 and 49-34 decisions to the Lady Raiders last week. Their record moved to 16-13.

At Marks on Monday, Jan. 2, coach Keith Taylor’s crew kept it close early, trailing 22-20 after the first quarter. Delta stretched the lead to 41-27 at the half and 54-35 after three quarters before winning by 20.

Kim Shaw poured in 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Marshall. Lindsay Taylor and Chelsea Faulkenbery followed with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Then in the first round of the Magnolia Heights Memorial Classic, the Lady Patriots had the misfortune of facing the red hot Lady Raiders again.

MA was behind by just three, 18-15 at the half, but the third period proved to be the difference. Delta went on a 20-4 run.

Shaw again led the Lady Patriots’ effort with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Schedule

MA teams hosted Carroll in district action Tuesday. They go to Mississippi College in Clinton Thursday and Friday to face Jackson Academy and MRA. Saturday, they go to Bayou and next Tuesday, Jan. 17, they host North Delta, both district foes.

“The trip to M.C. to face the number one and number two teams (Class AAA) in the MPSA will be a humongous test for our program, but it is a step we must take,” Dailey said about his Marshall boys.


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