Thursday, November 6, 2008
Lady Pats beat Byhalia, fall to Lady Lions
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy girls began the season by going 2-2 in their own tournament.
MA beat Memphis Area Home Education Association (MHEA) and Byhalia and lost to Magnolia Heights and H.W. Byers.
The MA boys also tipped off a new season Saturday. They fell to MHEA at home.
The Lady Patriots knocked off MHEA 36-33 on opening night. Traci Rodgers blistered the nets with 17 points. MA trailed 23-19 entering the fourth quarter, and she scored 14 of her points in that period to spark the rally. Emily Burk added 11 for Marshall.
“We survived,” coach Craig Dailey said. “Home school is always competitive and it took us three quarters to bear down and battle.”
The next night the Class AA Lady Pats lost 57-38 to Class AAA Magnolia Heights, recognized as one of the top teams in the state.
“Many people were calling for them to be pre-season number one overall, and after Tuesday night (of last week) they get my vote,” Dailey said.
Rodgers’ 20 points led MA – “against double and triple teaming,” Dailey said. Callie Clanton added seven. He praised the defense of Kelsey Shaw against the Lady Chiefs’ 6’1” post player.
“They (the Lady Chiefs) shot the lights out,” he said.
A new Marshall County rivalry was featured Thursday night as the Lady Pats downed Byhalia 44-41.
MA again rallied in the fourth. The host team trailed 12-10 after one, 23-21 at the half and 33-32 after three.
Top scorers for MA were Rodgers with 20 and Burk with nine. Leading the Lady Indians were Erica Bougard with 12 and Megan Rayford with nine.
Marshall was 13 of 18 from the free-throw line and Byhalia was six of 15.
Dailey complimented the defensive work of Molly West, Regan Murphy and Shaw. He said Clanton had a solid game and Burk had her best all-around game of the year. He said Byhalia went to a “box and one” defense on Rodgers the second half but she “still found a way to score.”
“Coach (Summer) Pannell does a tremendous job with her girls (at Byhalia) and I’m looking forward to continuing this rivalry,” Dailey said. “It’s nice to play big-time, quality opponents 30 minutes from home.”
Pannell said “turnovers, mental mistakes, freshmen blunders” hurt her team in the loss.
The Marshall girls hung with Byers, the defending Class 2A state champs among public schools, until midway through the third quarter. Then the Lady Lions, led by “Dandy Dozen” point guard Rachel Jones, exploded for the 65-35 win.
“Rachel (Jones) is special,” Dailey said. “I’m going to be wearing a Byers T-shirt when they play in Jackson if we’re done with overall.
“Coach (Jason) Thompson has built a girls powerhouse. I know the amount of dedication that takes, and I was honored to compete with them.”
MA trailed 28-20 at the half and cut it to two, 31-29, with 5:23 left in the third. Then the Lady Lions erupted – going on a 34-6 run to end the game.
Rachel Jones led Byers (4-0) with 21, 13 of those in the second half. Amanda Jones scored 20 and Alexis Hardaway eight.
Rodgers gunned in 15 for Marshall.
“We competed, and I’m proud of the girls,” Dailey said. “Cutting it to eight at the half and two in the third was a huge accomplishment versus the Lady Lions.”
He praised Rodgers’ offensive night versus Byers’ pressure and West’s defensive intensity.
Coach Thompson said Rachel Jones just did what she’s capable of – taking over a game.
“By next season I expect at least half of our schedule to be area MHSAA teams,” Dailey said. “This is a tremendous asset to our development as a program.”
Other Byhalia games
Also in the tournament, the Lady Indians lost 49-46 to Marvell Academy and dominated West Memphis Christian 48-28.
In the win over West Memphis, Bougard scored 12 and Rayford added eight. Coach Pannell’s squad was up 24-12 at the half.
The Patriots started the campaign Saturday afternoon with a 76-65 loss to MHEA.
Marshall trailed 33-32 at the half.
Caleb Byrd’s 18-point performance led the Pats. He hit five three-point shots. Taylor Maurey had 17 and Jordan Brock scored 15. Their coach said all three played well.
“Home school’s 6’5” post player destroyed us with 24 points,” Dailey said. “Not having our own ‘big fellow’ had a little impact.”
Spenser Autry is still playing football with the Patriots.
“It will be interesting to see the difference when we play them again in January,” Dailey said.
He liked his team’s offensive output in the opener but said, “We have to defend a whole lot better.”
MA teams visit Oak Hill in West Point Thursday, starting at 3 p.m. They host the Memphis Knights Saturday starting at 2 p.m. Next Tuesday, Nov. 11, Marshall hosts Tunica beginning at 3 p.m.
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