Thursday, November 22, 2007
Patriots down AAA Pillow
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Patriots, with a shortened roster due to the football team’s success, are off to a 4-1 start on the basketball court.
The Lady Patriots also played five games last week – going 3-2 and moving their overall season mark to 9-3.
Caleb Byrd “was on fire” in game one of the season, according to coach Craig Dailey. He scored 26 points in a 74-62 win over Tunica Institute of Learning.
Marshall, playing at home November 12, led 29-21 at the half.
Others in double figures were Nick Tate with 17 and Gene Alexin with 14.
“Nick had a strong night, hitting a couple of huge shots late,” Dailey said. “Gene played well, along with my junior boys, Jordan (Brock), Matt (Dalton) and Kasey (Shaw).”
The next night at home the Class AA Patriots knocked off Class AAA Pillow Academy 62-55.
“This was a huge win, especially without our football boys,” Dailey said.
Tate gunned in a team-best 23 points. Byrd added 18 and Alexin 12. MA was up 33-22 at the half.
“Nick really came out in this game,” Dailey said. “Hopefully he is beginning to get his groove. Caleb played extremely well, along with Gene. Jake (Omedeo) had a big defensive night on their 6’5” post player.”
Marshall then entered the West Memphis Christian Tournament and routed Faith Christian 90-48 Thursday night.
Five players scored in double digits – Alexin with 24, Byrd with 17, Tate with 16, Chad Mitchell with 10 and Dalton with 10.
“This showed the offensive balance we can have,” Dailey said. “Gene exploded, and both Caleb and Nick had good offensive nights.”
The Patriots dropped their first game of the season Saturday to the host school, West Memphis. They lost 60-51.
“We were a little like deer in the headlights,” Dailey said. “Gene had a solid offensive game (18 points), but we just dug too big a hole to get out of.”
Marshall trailed 18-6 after one quarter and 32-21 at the half.
Byrd added 11 points for MA.
“West Memphis has a good shot at winning Class A this year,” Dailey said.”
Tate and Alexin combined for 66 points in the Patriots’ big 76-72 win over Memphis-Area Home Education Association later Saturday.
Tate was unstoppable. He scored 40. Alexin followed with 26.
“Nick just flat out took it over down the stretch,” Dailey said. “Gene lit it up as well. It was our second game of the day. The boys bounced back well.”
Jessica Taylor’s 20 points led the Lady Patriots to an easy 45-22 win over TIL at home.
“Jessica was absolutely on fire,” Dailey said. “It was nice to see other people step up and score.”
Traci Rodgers added 12 for Marshall, which led 35-6 at the half.
Marshall fought back from an early 20-9 deficit to beat Marvell 56-52 on Tuesday of last week.
Rodgers was the top gun with 28. Taylor added 15.
“We just kept battling and got back in it,” Dailey said. “We showed a tremendous amount of heart. Traci put us on her shoulders, and Jessica really stepped up.”
All the Lady Patriots got playing time in round one of the West Memphis Christian Tournament. MA blasted Faith Heritage 48-14.
Scoring in double figures were Rodgers, Taylor and Hannah Cook, all with 11 each.
Dailey said his Marshall girls simply dug themselves too deep a hole in the first half and lost 57-56 to West Memphis Saturday.
The Lady Pats trailed 25-5 at the half. They were outscored 16-0 in the second quarter.
Then, in the end, West Memphis survived.
“The kids showed a lot of heart to battle back and get a shot to win it,” he said. “Traci had a huge game (36 points) and Kelsey Shaw (nine points) hit some huge shots down the stretch to get us back in it.”
The MA girls finished the tournament later Saturday with another close loss, this one 44-42 to MHEA.
“We just didn’t make the plays to win and they did,” Dailey said.
MA was down 25-22 at the half.
Rodgers scored 18 and Taylor 12.
MA varsity teams play Heritage Academy on Wednesday afternoon of this week in the FedEx Forum at Memphis. Game times are 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Next Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Patriots and Lady Patriots host Magnolia Heights.
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