Thursday, December 14, 2006
Highly-ranked MA teams beat Knights
By BARRY BURLESON
A matchup between two highly-ranked Mississippi Private School Association teams Saturday in Holly Springs lived up to its billing.
Marshall Academy, number three in 2A, and West Memphis Christian, number one in 1A, played an extra period with the Patriots pulling away for an 81-70 win. They improved to 11-2, while the Black Knights suffered their first loss and dropped to 9-1.
“What a game,” MA coach Craig Dailey said. “This win feels really good and is probably one of our biggest regular season wins since I came here.”
Three Patriots carried the offensive load – Seth Milliorn with 24 points, Jimmy Palmer with 21 and Liautaud Prophete with 17.
“Seth (Milliorn) was clutch,” Dailey said. “Those two free throws (in the closing seconds of regulation) were big time.
“Jimmy (Palmer) really showed what he’s capable of. Yo (Prophete) had some problems with their traps but he made some huge plays including the game-winning assist to Seth.”
Marshall’s big man, Spenser Autry, went down with a knee injury just prior to halftime.
“It’s bitter sweet to get the win and probably lose Spenser as well,” Dailey said. “We’ll be praying it’s not his ACL. We’ll find out early this week.”
MA trailed 30-29 at the half. The game was knotted at 64 at the end of regulation, and then the Patriots, supported by a loud home crowd, outscored the visitors 17-6 in the extra period.
“I’m really excited about the potential of this team,” Dailey said. “They are fun to watch.”
The Lady Patriots, ranked number two in 2A, had little trouble with a talented West Memphis squad. They improved to 19-2 on the season with the 57-36 win.
“This was our first major test since our earlier loss, and the kids did a heck of a job,” Dailey said.
Scoring in double digits for the MA girls were Traci Rodgers with 17 points, Kim Shaw with 16 and Jessica Taylor with 11. Chelsea Faulkenbery added eight.
He praised the defense of Faulkenbery and Hannah Cook against the top two Lady Black Knights.
“Traci (Rodgers) and Kim (Shaw) paced us as usual offensively, but our others really stepped up,” he said. “Jessica (Taylor) exploded for nine first-quarter points, and Chelsea (Faulkenbery) helped open it up in the second half with some key baskets.”
Marshall led 24-14 at the half and outscored West Memphis 19-10 in the third quarter.
Marshall vs. Lee (Marianna)
The Patriots and Lady Patriots earned easy district wins Friday night at Lee (Marianna, Ark.). Both improved to 2-0 in the district.
The MA boys were in total control, 33-13 at the half, and coasted to the 69-31 victory.
Palmer led the attack with 18 points. Justin McMullen and Prophete scored 10 each. Joshua Asplund contributed eight.
“The main goal was to get out of there without anyone getting hurt,” Dailey said. “Everyone played well.”
Rodgers gunned in 22 points as the MA girls rolled over Lee 58-25. They were up 40-18 at the half.
Shaw followed with 12, and Faulkenbery scored nine.
“The girls really bounced back from the collapse against MHEA (Memphis-Area Home Education Association) earlier in the week,” Dailey said. “They made it through the practices following that showing and seem to have learned a lot.”
“Traci (Rodgers) was Traci. Kim (Shaw) and Chelsea (Faulkenbery) had solid nights on both ends of the floor.”
Marshall vs. MHEA
The Patriots outscored MHEA 25-7 in the second quarter Tuesday night of last week en route to the big 73-54 win.
Palmer poured in 22 points, including 10 in the first quarter, and Milliorn was close behind with 20. Tyler Sanders and Marquez Miller added 10 and eight, respectively.
“Seth (Milliorn) and Tyler (Sanders) each had 10 points in the second quarter to pretty much put the game away,” Dailey said.
“The bench played well.”
Nine Patriots scored.
The Lady Patriots struggled in a 40-35 loss to MHEA.
“They had a great game plan – doubling and tripling Kim (Shaw) and Traci (Rodgers),” Dailey said. “They forced everybody else to make a shot, and it was one of those nights.
“Sometimes a loss is good, and I think this one seemed to refocus us and make us realize regardless of how far we’ve come we have to keep getting better if we are going to reach our full potential. I am proud of the way the girls responded to the loss.”
Rodgers was the top scorer for Marshall with 14 points.
The Lady Patriots trailed 14-13 at the half.
MA hosts junior girls, junior boys, high school girls B-team and high school boys B-team games versus Tupelo Christian Friday starting at 3 p.m. The high school boys will then face SBEC at 7:30 in the nightcap.
Saturday night, the varsity girls and boys will play Pillow in Tad Smith Coliseum on the Ole Miss campus. The girls game tips off at 6:30 p.m. The Pillow girls are ranked third overall in the MPSA.
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