Thursday, November 8, 2007
Lady Pats start 4-0
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Lady Patriots opened the new basketball season 4-0. They defeated Manchester, Marvell (Ark.), Lee (Ark.) and West Memphis in tournament action.
“I’m proud of these young ladies,” coach Craig Dailey said. “We wanted to be 4-0 going into Tuesday’s matchup (November 6) with the number-one-ranked (Class AAA) Pillow girls.
“This will be our toughest test of the year, outside of Leake. It’ll be a different type of pressure – a tremendous test.”
MA, ranked second in Class AA, tipped off the campaign with a 42-16 win over Manchester in the Indianola Tournament October 27.
The Lady Patriots struggled early but pulled away for a 21-8 halftime advantage.
Traci Rodgers, who had 113 points in the first four games of the season, scored 32 on this night.
“This was a good first game – an extremely solid defensive game,” Dailey said. “When Traci’s on like that, we’ll be tough to beat.”
The Lady Patriots shifted to the Magnolia Heights Tournament October 30 and squeezed by Marvell (Ark.) 30-24.
Rodgers gunned in 20 points.
“As always with Marvell, it was a defensive struggle,” Dailey said. “Traci had another strong offensive night. Hannah (Cook) hit some big shots. Emily (Burk) contributed a lot of statistics – numbers outside of scoring.”
Rodgers’ 34 points led the way November 1 as the Marshall girls dominated Lee (Ark.) 53-34 in the Magnolia Heights Tournament.
The lead was 27-15 at the half.
“Traci is shooting the ball exceptionally well right now,” he said. “Molly (West) had a very solid game, and Regan (Murphy) led us on the boards and in several categories.”
It was the Lady Pats’ first game without starter Burk, who is out with an illness.
“That allowed some of our bench players to step up and play well,” Dailey said.
The biggest test thus far came Saturday versus West Memphis Christian in the Magnolia Heights Tournament. MA passed the test – winning 45-35.
Rodgers had a game-high 27 points.
Lady Knight Lindsey Root, who has committed to play for Harding University, had 25.
“Holding her to 25 and calling it a good night shows how good she is,” Dailey said. “Traci (Rodgers) matched her point for point and stepped up her defensive help. Hannah (Cook) had a tremendous defensive night.”
He also praised the play of Jessica Taylor, who he said “played the best game I’ve seen her play and exactly at the right time,” and West, who guarded West Memphis’ second scorer and “shut her down.” He also complimented the play of Kelsey Shaw, who provided some “huge first half minutes to help us weather foul trouble.”
The MA girls returned to the Indianola Tournament Tuesday to face Pillow. They then meet Washington School Thursday at 6:15 p.m. in the tourney and Bayou Academy Saturday at 5:15 p.m.
They host Tunica next Monday, Nov. 12, and Marvell next Tuesday, Nov. 13. That will be the home openers for both the Lady Patriots and Patriots.
The varsity teams from Marshall will compete in the West Memphis Christian Tournament November 15-17.
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