Thursday, January 11, 2007
Marshall teams battle big schools
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy basketball teams journeyed to the state’s capital city last week and left their mark against some of the state’s best in the Jackson Academy New Year’s Classic.
The Patriots, ranked third in Class AA, defeated Indianola Academy, ranked number one, before losing to AAA powers JA and Madison Ridgeland Academy.
The second-ranked Lady Patriots beat third-ranked Indianola before falling to JA.
“The only way to be the best is to play the best, and the only way to beat them is to play them,” said MA head coach Craig Dailey. “They knew they were played last week.”
Stifling defense and a combined 32 points from Jimmy Palmer and Seth Milliorn lifted the Patriots to a 48-29 victory over Indianola on Wednesday.
‘This was a huge win and the best defensive effort we’ve had this season,” Dailey said.
Indianola’s big man, 6’9” John Harris, was held to eight points.
“Holding him to eight without a player over 6’2” is remarkable by my guys,” he said. “Brent (Adams) kept him off balance all night and Quez (Marquezes Miller) came in to close the deal. Brent got in foul trouble, and I went to Quez due to his hard work in practice and he really responded. Tyler (Sanders) had a solid defensive game as well.”
Palmer scored 19 points and Milliorn 13.
“Jimmy and Seth did a great job on the offensive end and in giving help on Harris.”
The Patriots led 19-11 at the half and outscored Indianola 29-18 in the second half.
The MA boys gave the host team, JA, all it could handle on Friday night. They lost a 51-48 heartbreaker.
“This was a tough one to lose,” Dailey said. “The guys played the defending overall champs to a standstill on their home floor. Hopefully we grew up a lot. The guys are proving they belong in the upper level teams; now we just have to keep moving up.”
The Patriots stunned JA early, going up 10-2. They led 15-13 at the half.
The second half was nip and tuck with the home team outscoring MA 38-33 to take the three-point win. MA had a chance to tie at the buzzer.
Leading scorers for the Patriots were Liautaud Prophete with 14, Milliorn with 12 and Palmer with nine.
“Yo (Prophete) had a tough first half and exploded in the second,” Dailey said. “Seth (Milliorn) and Jimmy (Palmer) had solid nights versus the best defense we’ve played this year.”
Marshall wrapped up the tournament Saturday evening by battling MRA, second-ranked in Class AAA, tooth and nail before dropping a 53-40 decision. Their season mark went to 15-6.
“MRA is the Overall (Tournament) favorite,” Dailey said. “Their height is a little hard to match up to, but my guys battled. We pulled it to within three with 2:30 to go.
“Fouls finally caught us but this will make the State AA Tournament seem like a junior high tournament.”
The Patriots trailed 12-5 after one quarter, 21-12 at the half and 30-25 after three periods.
Palmer gunned in a team-best 19 points. Milliorn had 11 and Sanders seven.
“Jimmy (Palmer) lit them up and Seth (Milliorn) had a solid inside night versus their ‘oak trees,’ Dailey said.
“My boys earned a lot of respect this week. We could have gone to the Magnolia Heights Classic and played Delta or Magnolia Heights in the finals but we would not have been tested like this.”
Dailey said his MA Lady Patriots “carried out the defensive game plan and made the plays to win” Wednesday of last week. They knocked off Indianola 41-38 in a battle of top five teams.
He complimented the defense of Jessica Taylor against Indianola’s 6’3” exchange student, plus the defensive aggressiveness of Chelsea Faulkenbery.
The Lady Patriots came out of the starting gate in fine fashion. They jumped to a 12-2 lead after one quarter and were on top 22-12 at the half. Indianola made a run in the second half but MA held on.
“It was a championship caliber atmosphere,” Dailey said.”
Kim Shaw and Traci Rodgers sparked the offense, scoring 17 points each.
“They had huge nights,” he said. “When they both are on, it’s hard to beat us.
“This will most likely be our North State semi-final matchup if we do our job.”
The Lady Patriots suffered just their fifth loss of the season Friday night against the host Jackson Academy girls. They lost 51-38 and their record went to 22-5.
“We just couldn’t match JA’s mental intensity,” Dailey said. “Every mistake we made, they made us pay for.”
The Lady Patriots trailed 22-17 at halftime.
Rodgers was the top gun with 19 points. Shaw added seven.
“Traci (Rodgers) elevated her offensive game and had a big night versus the best defense we’ve faced,” he said.
“We go to these places to learn to win in tough environments. These tough Christmas break games should help us be prepared for the playoff run ahead.”
The Patriots and Lady Patriots hosted Lee (Ark.) Tuesday. They will host Lee (Mississippi) Thursday night and then go to Delta Academy on Saturday. Next Monday, Jan. 15, MA teams travel to Magnolia Heights. Next Tuesday, Jan. 16, MA hosts Memphis-Area Home Education Association (MHEA).
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