high teams capture district titles
The Marshall Academy junior high basketball teams wrapped up very successful seasons last week with district championships and a combined 53-4 record.
Our goal is to contend for state every year and keep developing until we can go to Jackson and bring home that gold ball, said coach Craig Dailey, in his first season at MA. We want an overall in the next few years. It all starts with a dream and a belief and these two groups sure believed.
The junior high Patriots got 17 points from Caleb Byrd and 16 from Spenser Autry in a 50-37 title win over Lee (Clarksdale) on Tuesday of last week at home.
Byrd got Marshall on track quickly. He scored the first four points of the game and hurt them all night, Dailey said.
They tried some gimmick defense for awhile, and Caleb in particular ate it up, he said. Spenser was Spenser. It is going to be a lot of fun watching the big fellow play at the next level.
MA was up 18-15 at the half and then outscored the Colts 32-22 in the second half.
Dailey also complimented the contributions of Justin McMullen, Taylor Dempsey, Tyler Childers and Hunter Bolden. All of them added valuable points, with six of McMullens eight coming on two big threes, and they defended well, he said.
This group has really developed, Dailey said. We learned a lot of basketball and became a very good team. I believe this groups best basketball is ahead.
To reach the finals, the junior high boys knocked off Carroll 52-29 in round one and Kirk 45-34 in the semi-finals.
Against Carroll, Autry and Byrd scored 16 and 10 points, respectively, and McMullen added nine.
Autry and Byrd also led the offense attack in the win over Kirk, gunning in 17 and 10 points, respectively. McMullen and Dempsey had eight each.
Three Lady Patriots scored in double figures as they blasted Bayou 46-31 for the district crown.
Traci Rodgers led the way with 18 points. She was followed by Emily Burk with 12 and Shelby Taylor with 11.
Traci had a tremendous freshman campaign and will be as good as Ive ever coached, Dailey said. Emily had a coming out party this week. She showed the player she is going to be. Traci and her will be a huge 1-2 punch for awhile. Shelby played her best game in the last game. Her deep three at the end of the first quarter just about broke their (Bayous) back.
Marshall took the momentum and a 28-18 lead to the locker room at intermission and then outscored Bayou 14-4 in the third period.
Dailey also praised the defensive efforts of Hannah Cook, Regan Murphy, Kim Cunningham and Molly West.
Im extremely proud of all the girls and expect this to be a common thing with this group, he said. It should be fun in years to come.
The junior high girls beat North Delta 34-12 and Indianola 46-18 to earn a spot in the title matchup.
Rodgers and Burk tossed in 15 and 13 points, respectively, versus North Delta. Taylor added seven.
In the 28-point win over Indianola, Rodgers blistered the nets with 21, while Burk scored 11 and Taylor eight.
Both MA junior high teams knocked off number one seeds (Lee and Bayou) for the first-place trophies. The Patriots ended the season 25-2 and the Lady Patriots 28-2.
These were extra special due to how far weve come and how much the kids have improved, Dailey said. To do it by upsetting two number ones in convincing fashion was special as well.
Named to the all-tournament teams from Marshall were Autry, Byrd and Dempsey for the boys and Rodgers, Burk, Taylor and Murphy for the girls.
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