Thursday, December 21, 2006
MA drops close ones at ‘Tad Pad’
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy teams came up four and three points short in their trip to Tad Smith Coliseum on the University of Mississippi campus Saturday night.
The Class 2A Lady Patriots fell 38-34 to 3A Pillow, ranked number two overall in the Mississippi Private School Association.
The Patriots lost 53-50 to the Mustangs in the college basketball arena.
“Playing at Tad Smith was probably more special to me than the Fed-Ex Forum (where MA teams played this season and last),” Dailey said. “I’m a life-long Rebel fan and love the place.
“Playing in this type venue gives our kids exposure to college coaches and is just real neat in general.”
The MA girls, ranked second in Class 2A, stayed close throughout and led some in every quarter.
Traci Rodgers’ short jump shot gave Marshall a 6-4 lead with 1:14 to go in the first. Her three gave MA an 11-9 lead early in the second. Kim Shaw’s three put the Lady Patriots up 19-18 with 6:49 to go in the third quarter. Hannah Cook’s putback gave MA a 27-26 lead with 7:36 to go in the game.
But Pillow pulled ahead by as many as six in the final period and held on for the four-point win. The Lady Mustangs cashed in two free throws with 11 seconds to go.
“What a game,” Dailey said. “I don’t like moral victories, but this was a step in building our program. We’ve showed we can compete with the upper level teams. Now we go to work to learn how to beat them.”
Rodgers gunned in 22 points for Marshall. Shaw followed with eight.MA’s record went to 19-3.
“Traci (Rodgers) is as good as I’ve had,” Dailey said. “She is a lot of fun to watch and coach. Kim (Shaw) played well. They did a good job on her, and she did a good job staying within herself.
“Chelsea (Faulkenbery), Hannah (Cook) and Jessica’s (Taylor) play won’t show up in The Clarion-Ledger, but it was phenomenal. They were as solid defensively as any of my groups. We handled Pillow’s pressure – a big key to beating 2A number one Leake.”
The MA boys lost a heartbreaker, too, versus Pillow at Ole Miss.
“It was a disappointing loss,” Dailey said about the three-point setback. “Pillow is a very solid team, physical and strong. Without Spenser (Autry, who is out for the season with a knee injury), they manhandled us inside.”
The Patriots had the early momentum, thanks to the play of Liautaud Prophete. He had several first-quarter goals, included a three-point play thee old-fashion way at the 1:57 mark to put MA up 13-6.
Marshall led by as many as six in the second quarter but the Mustangs hit a desperation three at the halftime buzzer to go ahead 22-19.
The Patriots could never get the lead in the third and fourth quarters. They tied it with 4:40 to go in the third but trailed 34-27 at the end of the period.
MA cut it to two at the 2:39 mark of the fourth on Jimmy Palmer’s three, then got to within one at 51-50 with 26 seconds to go on another three-point play the old-fashion way from Prophete.
Pillow then hit two free throws with seven ticks remaining, and Palmer’s half-court try just before the buzzer missed the mark.
Prophete was MA’s top gun with 21 points. Seth Milliorn added 14. The Patriots, number three in 2A, saw their record go to 12-3.
“In my guys’ defense, this Pillow bunch was a lot better than us this summer and had to really play well to beat us Saturday,” Dailey said. “We shot the ball poorly for us. Sure Pillow played a part in that, but Tad Smith Coliseum probably did as well.
“We will go back to work this week, take some time off for Christmas, and then come back ready for the Brookhaven Tournament.”
Dailey said he hopes to put together a Christmas Tournament next year at Ole Miss involving both private and public school teams.
“I’m working with the Ole Miss men’s coaches, and I think we have a good shot at pulling it off,” he said.
Patriots vs. SBEC
The Marshall varsity boys dominated SBEC Friday night at home, 73-42.
“They came in highly-ranked out of the Memphis area,” Dailey said. “I think we just got up early and their wheels fell off.”
The Patriots vaulted ahead 12-4 after one quarter and 39-19 at the half.
Milliorn and Palmer were the leading scorers with 24 and 21 points, respectively. Bo Bonds had nine.
“Seth (Milliorn) had another huge game,” Dailey said. “When he puts up those numbers we will be hard to beat. Jimmy (Palmer) was on fire (six three-pointers). he can flat shoot. Bo (Bonds) came in and had some very quality minutes. The loss of Spenser (Autry) will mean some of our bench people will have to step up.”
Marshall Academy teams play in the Brookhaven Tournament December 28-30 and the Jackson Academy Tournament January 4-6.
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