January 3, 2008
MA girls go 1-1 at tourney, boys fall to Leake, East Rankin
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy’s after-Christmas journey to the University Christian Tournament near Jackson proved to be a rough road.
The Lady Patriots and Patriots went one for four in the tourney at Flowood – that being the MA girls’ 41-35 victory over Starkville on Friday.
MA teams were swept by Leake in round one Thursday evening.
The Lady Patriots stayed close to the unbeaten Lady Rebels for one quarter but got outscored 27-7 in the second period. The final was 71-27.
“Man, they are good,” coach Craig Dailey said about Class AA’s top-ranked squad. “They’re the best team in AA and will have a very good shot at Overall.
“Their strengths go to our weaknesses and that makes our matchup with them even tougher.”
Traci Rodgers led MA with 12 points. Emily Burk added eight.
“I was extremely proud of the way my girls scrapped and battled,” Dailey said.
On the other hand, he said his Marshall boys “didn’t show up” for their game versus Leake and fell 79-62.
“That is the worst defensive game one of my teams has played in 15 years,” he said.
Leake led MA’s highly-ranked Patriots 41-30 at the half and stretched the margin in the second half, winning by 17 points.
Top scorers in the loss were Nick Tate and Gene Alexin with 19 each and Tyler Sanders with 18.
“Tyler Sanders had a great offensive first half to keep us in it until our others could wake up, but if you can’t guard you can’t beat teams of this caliber,” Dailey said. “We drove three hours to see how good they were.”
He called the loss “pretty embarrassing” and said he hopes the two teams will meet again when it matters (in the playoffs) and “we will be a lot more prepared.”
The Marshall teams then made the trip south again on Friday for a pair of afternoon games.
The Lady Patriots tipped things off with their six-point win over Class AAA Starkville Academy.
“It was a good solid win and impressive bounce back from Leake,” Dailey said. “We got in at 2 a.m. and hit the road again at 8 a.m. and showed up and whipped the AAA Lady Vols.”
The victory upped the MA girls’ record to 15-8.
The Lady Patriots, who trailed by four at the half, outscored Starkville 16-8 in the fourth quarter.
Burk gunned in 20 points, while Rodgers was close behind with 19.
“Emily had a great game and that’s what we have to have to have a shot down the stretch,” he said. “Traci played well handling the double teams. Jessica (Taylor), Hannah (Cook) and Regan (Murphy) had very solid games.
“I’m proud of these young ladies. We are going to see how good we can be.”
The Marshall boys saw their record drop to 13-3 with a disappointing loss to East Rankin in the consolation round Friday. MA fell behind 25-16 at the half and lost by 15 points, 56-41.
Tate scored 26 of the Patriots’ 41 points. Alexin added eight.
Next up for Marshall is a contest against Madison Ridgeland Academy, the number-one-ranked team in the Mississippi Private School Association, Thursday at 4:30 in the Jackson Academy Tournament.
“We will not even think about them (MRA) until the film session the day of the game,” Dailey said. “We have to worry about us, and the next two practices will define who ‘us’ is, and it will be a team that guards you. We were not that team this week, and that will be fixed.”
The Lady Patriots play Northwest Rankin, a public school, Thursday at 3 p.m. in the JA Tournament, with the boys facing MRA at 4:30 p.m. The tournament continues Friday and Saturday with consolation and championship rounds. If the MA girls win Thursday, they will play Saturday at 6 p.m. If they lose Thursday, they will play Friday at 3 p.m. If the MA boys win Thursday, they will play Saturday at 7:30. If they lose Thursday, they will play Friday at 4:30 p.m.
Marshall teams host Lee (Marianna, Ark.) next Monday, Jan. 7.
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