Thursday, December 11, 2008
MA teams off to good start in district
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy basketball teams are off to 2-0 starts in district play.
MA swept Lee (Ark.) and Carroll last week. They both lost non-district games Saturday at Magnolia Heights.
Marshall vs. Lee (Ark.)
Caleb Byrd and Jake Omedeo scored 14 points each as the Patriots beat the Cougars 57-31 at home December 2.
A red-hot Byrd sparked Marshall in the early going.
“Caleb and Jake had big offensive nights,” coach Craig Dailey said. “Caleb’s four threes in the first half were big.”
MA led 28-14 at the halfway point.
“This was a great start to district play,” he said.
The Lady Patriots had an even easier time versus Lee. They clobbered the Lady Cougars 60-24 and handed Dailey the 800th win of his coaching career.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of great kids who work hard,” he said. “It’s been fun.”
Traci Rodgers gunned in 20 points versus Lee, including four threes. Callie Clanton was close behind with 18, including two threes. Emily Burk was also in double digits with 11.
“Traci and Callie were on fire, and Emily had a solid offensive game,” Coach Dailey said. “Everyone played well. It was good to get everyone a lot of minutes.”
Marshall enjoyed a 33-13 lead at the half.
Marshall versus Carroll
Coming off the 36-point win in their district opener, the Lady Patriots followed it up with a 38-point victory at Carroll.
Rodgers and Clanton combined to hit 11 threes in the 71-33 win. Rodgers fired in six threes and finished with 28 points. Clanton had five threes and scored 22. Burk added 12 points.
The lead was 44-22 at the half.
“It’s great to get off to a 2-0 start in conference play,” Dailey said.
The Patriots started a bit sluggishly at Carroll Thursday night but eased to the 54-39 win.
MA was up 14-9 after one quarter, 28-18 at halftime and 43-25 following three quarters.
Byrd’s 16 points led the offensive attack. Taylor Maurey followed with 11.
“Caleb and Taylor had solid offensive games,” he said. “We were able to give everyone a lot of playing time.
“John (Tomlinson) did an excellent job on their star. John is establishing himself as our ‘stopper’ and that’s a big key to our program’s success.
“Starting 2-0 in district, that’s what it’s all about.”
MA vs. Magnolia Heights
The Lady Patriots and Lady Chiefs gave attendees their money’s worth and more Saturday in Senatobia. It was back and forth throughout with Marshall’s valiant effort versus the Class AAA power falling just short, 41-39.
The MA girls trailed 13-9 after one quarter, but Rodgers’ putback at the 4:13 mark of the second quarter gave them the lead at 16-15. Burk’s bucket inside upped it to 18-15, but the Lady Pats were down 21-20 at the half.
Marshall led the bulk of the second half. Rodgers and Burk again had key buckets in the third as the visitors went ahead 32-28.
The lead increased to six with 5:23 left in the fourth when Clanton scored off an assist from Molly West.
The Lady Chiefs rallied to knot the game at 39 with 1:15 to go. They then hit the winning bucket with 27 seconds left.
Rodgers poured in 20 points for Marshall (11-4). Burk and Clanton followed with 10 and nine, respectively.
“Traci had a tremendous all-around game, as we did as a team,” Dailey said. “We just couldn’t make the plays at the end. Emily played her best game at both ends of the floor. Callie hit some huge shots and battled hard with Jenna Harris (of the Lady Chiefs). She made her work for every point. Regan (Murphy) shut down Elizabeth Brooks (of the Lady Chiefs) and Molly and Kelsey (Shaw) had solid defensive nights.
“They whipped us by 19 points at our place in our tournament and we should have won this one. We are steadily improving. Let’s see where we are when we play them again in January. They (the Lady Chiefs) have a good shot at Division II Class AAA.”
The Class AA Marshall boys gave big school Magnolia Heights a battle, too. They trailed by just three with 5:26 to go in the game before falling 55-40.
The lead see-sawed in the first quarter. Tomlinson’s steal and assist to Chase Ferrell put the Patriots up 14-12 with 2:07 to go, but they were down 19-17 at period’s end.
MA fell behind by as many as 11 points in the second quarter and trailed 34-27 at the halfway point.
And the Pats (6-6) kept fighting in the fourth. Jake Omedeo hit a three, which was followed a minute later by Tomlinson’s putback. The deficit was suddenly 39-36. But it was all Chiefs from there as they pulled away and won by 15.
Maurey scored 10 to lead Marshall’s offensive effort.
“We played a great first half,” Dailey said. “It’s just a shame we could not duplicate it in the second half. Magnolia Heights has been traditionally a football and baseball school but they have a shot at the Division II Class AAA title this year. They hit us in the mouth and we responded, but didn’t maintain our fight for 32 minutes. Coach Russ Whiteside and coach Marc Dukes have done a great job with this Magnolia Heights group.”
Marshall teams were scheduled to play Oak Hill Tuesday.
They go to Kirk Academy Friday for district games and then visit public school Potts Camp Saturday.
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