Thursday, December 20, 2007
MA sweeps Lee, splits with Kirk
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy passed a huge road test Friday night.
The Lady Patriots and Patriots escaped Clarksdale with 57-44 and 57-45 wins, respectively, over Lee Academy. The MA girls improved to 14-6 overall and 3-1 in district, while the boys upped their marks to 12-1 and 4-0.
Traci Rodgers scored 19 of her game-high 28 points in the second half as the Lady Patriots pulled away for the 13-point win. The junior was six of seven from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.
“Traci was Traci,” coach Craig Dailey said. “They had no answer for her.”
Emily Burk also hit in double figures with 15.
“Emily had a big night and we have to have that kind of output from her to win district,” he said.
MA led 25-16 at the half and upped the margin to 43-27 after three periods.
“It was a big win for the girls with their backs against the wall in district (after a loss Tuesday of last week to Kirk),” Dailey said. “They came out swinging with a great showing.”
He also complimented the defense of Mandy Bolden, who “shut down one of Lee’s big guns.”
Four Patriots scored in double figures as they escaped the hostile environment with the 12-point win over Lee. Leading the way were Gene Alexin with 19, Caleb Byrd with 15, Tyler Sanders with 11 and Nick Tate with 10.
Dailey said he thought the Colts would be better than what he saw when he worked on his game plan.
“And they proved me right,” he said. “They will be tough by the end (of the year). They just haven’t been in the gym long enough.”
The Patriots trailed 11-6 after one quarter but fought back to lead 26-22 at the half. They were up 41-33 after three quarters.
“Gene and Caleb had big nights,” he said, “and Nick had a solid second half. Tyler (Sanders) played well at both ends. Tyler (Childers) came off the bench to shut down their point guard. He held him scoreless in the second half.”
Tate was five of six from the free-throw stripe in the fourth period. Nine of Sanders’ 11 came on threes.
Marshall versus Kirk
A battle of two teams ranked in the top five in the state went to the Kirk Lady Raiders. They came into MA’s gym and left with the 47-36 win.
“Traci had another tremendous game (26 points), but we couldn’t get her enough offensive help,” Dailey said. “Kirk is a very good team. They will be a tough out (come tournament time).”
MA led 21-19 at the half but fell behind 32-27 after three quarters.
In last week’s Clarion-Ledger poll, the Lady Patriots were fourth and the Lady Raiders fifth in Mississippi Private School Association Class AA rankings.
The third-ranked Marshall boys exploded versus Kirk, particularly Tate. He scored 27 points, 25 of those in the first half, 16 in the second quarter. The Patriots won 78-28.
“Nick was absolutely on fire,” Dailey said.
Alexin sliced through the Kirk defense for 16 points. Ten Patriots scored in the game.
Marshall led 51-14 at the half.
“The whole team played extremely well,” Dailey said. “The bench extended the lead when they came in.”
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