Thursday, January 10, 2008
MA tangles with tough foes
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy made another trip south down I-55 last week and coach Craig Dailey believes playing some of the state’s best will pay off down the stretch.
The Lady Patriots and Patriots competed in the Jackson Academy Tournament, winning one of five overall. It came a week after participation in the University Christian Tournament.
The Marshall girls got 32 points from Traci Rodgers on Thursday but couldn’t overtake Northwest Rankin, a Class 5A public school.
The Lady Patriots trailed 25-24 at the half, but got outscored 20-9 in the third period. They lost 65-47.
“That’s the most athletic team we’ve faced,” Dailey said. “It was tough, but a good experience for us.
“Traci had a tremendous game. She battled their athleticism tooth and nail.”
Emily Burk added 13 points, nine of those coming in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Patriots bounced back Friday. They steamrolled CM&I 55-24.
MA built a commanding 37-9 halftime advantage.
Rodgers was the top scorer with 20 points. Burk added 18. Alexis Ray contributed eight.
“Traci and Emily had a good offensive night,” Dailey said. “Alexis did a great job in the low post and has been a great addition to the team.
“Kelsey Shaw (who had six points) hit some big shots and has a chance to really contribute down the stretch.”
Saturday, Dailey said the Lady Patriots had one of their “best all-around games” of the season when they fell short, 49-42, versus Class AAA Madison Ridgeland Academy.
Marshall stayed close throughout, trailing 22-20 at the half and 34-31 after three quarters.
Rodgers gunned in 17 points. Burk scored 13.
“Emily and Traci gave MRA fits all night,” Coach Dailey said. “Regan (Murphy), Jessica (Taylor) and Hannah (Cook) had exceptional defensive nights. Molly (West) and Kelsey (Shaw) contributed well off the bench.”
The Lady Patriots’ season record went to 16-10.
“Moral victories are not our goal, but the way we played bodes well for the rest of the season,” he said.
The Marshall boys gave top-ranked MRA a battle before falling 55-41 on Thursday at the JA tourney.
“This was our best defensive effort of the year,” Coach Dailey said. “It just happened to be against the best team.”
MA led 12-7 early and then trailed 22-19 at intermission. The score was 36-32 in favor of MRA heading into the final quarter, and the Class AAA squad outscored the Patriots 19-9 in the fourth.
Nick Tate tossed in 19 points in the loss. Gene Alexin and Caleb Byrd followed with eight each.
“Nick had a solid night,” Dailey said. “Tyler (Sanders) shut down MRA’s perimeter star and Brent (Adams) had a solid defensive game.”
The Patriots’ next opponent on Friday was one of the top Class A teams in the Mississippi Private School Association. They lost 68-59 to CM&I.
“They were the most athletic team we’ve played this year,” Dailey said, “and they are definitely the team to beat in state A.”
MA led 20-16 after one period, was down 35-34 at the half and trailed 47-43 following three quarters.
Tate again led the Patriots in scoring with 21 points. Alexin scored 12, and Byrd had nine.
“Nick had another solid offensive game,” Dailey said. “Gene and Caleb helped keep us in the game on the offensive end.”
The Patriots’ season mark went to 13-5.
“The boys have had some extremely tough games versus some of the best competition in the MPSA,” he said. “I believe the tough run will help us to develop into the team we’ll need to be down the stretch.”
Marshall Academy teams were scheduled to host Lee (Marianna, Ark.) on Monday night. They travel to Carroll Academy Thursday. Saturday, the Lady Patriots and Patriots play JA at Delta State University. Game-times are 2 p.m. and 3:15 p.m.
Next Tuesday, Jan. 15, MA teams visit Kirk Academy.
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