Thursday, December 25, 2008
MA teams break at 15-5, 9-8
By BARRY BURLESON
Traci Rodgers’ first basket of the night Friday gave her 2,000 points for her varsity basketball career.
She finished the game with 2,030, scoring 32 of the Marshall Academy Lady Patriots’ 39 points in a hard-fought 39-36 home win over Marvell, Ark.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” coach Craig Dailey about Rodgers’ milestone.
“I’ve had some really good ones, and she’s right up there at the top of the list.
“She was a warrior against Marvell. Marvell is a tremendous defensive team.”
The Lady Pats were up 10-7 after one quarter, 21-13 at the half and 27-16 following three quarters.
Rodgers’ short jump shot with 5:37 left gave Marshall what looked to be a comfortable 33-20 advantage.
But the Marvell girls battled back. A couple of Marshall turnovers led to points for the Lady Eagles. The home team’s lead was sliced to 35-30 at the 1:42 mark.
Marvell’s three cut it to 35-33 with 55 seconds to go, and then another three tied it at 36 with 20 ticks left.
But Rodgers came through in the clutch, scoring on a putback with four seconds on the clock. Emily Burk added a free throw with one second left and the Lady Patriots won the nail-biter by three.
Rodgers scored 18 points in the first half and 14 in the second.
The Marshall varsity boys poured it on in the second hald and ran away from the Eagles 66-37.
The Patriots trailed 4-3 in the early going but enjoyed a 12-6 lead after one quarter. They stretched it to 31-18 at the half, thanks in large part to full-court pressure creating Marvell turnovers.
Caleb Byrd and Chad Mitchell each hit a three near the end of the third quarter and the lead was suddenly 46-26.
The Patriots coasted from there.
Taylor Maurey led the offensive attack with 16 points, followed closely by Jordan Brock wwith 14. Other top contributors were Chase Ferrell with 10, Byrd with nine and Mitchell with eight.
“They’re a difficult matchup for us, because they’re real physical and scrappy,” Dailey said. “Coach (Cliff) McCain (Marvell’s head coach) was with us here at Marshall for awhile, and he knows us pretty well.
“We had balanced scoring, and that’s one thing that makes us tough. It’s hard to defend us. You don’t know who the stars are going to be on any given night.”
Marshall vs. St. Benedict
Marshall Academy teams visited big school St. Benedict in Cordova, Tenn. Saturday - with an enrollment of approximately 1,000 students in ninth-12th grades.
But the Lady Patriots were not in awe at all. They led the game most of the way before dropping a 61-56 heartbreaker to a deep St. Benedict squad.
“They’re tough,” Dailey said. “They pushed the ball better than anyone we’ve seen this season. They got a lot of transition baskets. It was a great effort on our part. We had our chances to win it.”
Free throws were the difference. MA hit just seven of 17 in the second half.
“In a big game, you have to hit your free throws,” he said.
Rodgers was unstoppable. She scored 34.
“She was unreal again,” Dailey said.
The Lady Patriots came out of the gate red hot. Rodgers hit two threes and Callie Clanton and Emily Burk one each in the first quarter as the visitors went up 20-9.
But the Lady Eagles soared back in the second period - outscoring MA 19-7 and taking a 28-27 advantage to the locker room.
MA fell behind 31-27 early in the third. Then Rodgers blistered the nets with two threes and Kelsey Shaw added another as the Lady Pats rallied to go back in front 36-35 at the 4:20 mark. Marshall led 47-43 after three periods.
The lead see-sawed in the fourth with St. Benedict pulling out the five-point win.
“It was a good challenge to end the first half of the season,” Dailey said. “We stepped up but just didn’t finish. We missed eight straight free throws down the stretch.”
Eleven players scored for St. Benedict.
The Lady Patriots break for Christmas with a 15-5 record.
“Against the competition we’ve played, that’s a good accomplishment,” Dailey said.
The MA boys, with no seniors on the team, lost 63-29 to St. Benedict.
They fell behind 14-4 after one quarter and 32-12 at the half.
“We’re just young, and St. Benedict has some outstanding talent,” Dailey said.
“It’s good for us. It shows us what we need to work on.”
Ferrell and Maurey scored nine points each for the Patriots.
Marshall stands 9-8 at the Christmas recess.
“”We’re still undefeated in the conference, and we’re still on track to accomplish our goals,” Dailey said.
Marshall teams will play in the Brookhaven Tournament after Christmas. Both teams receive fist-round byes and will play Monday, Dec. 29. The girls will face the Trinity-Oak Forest winner at 4 p.m., and the boys will play the Trinity-Oak Forest winner at 5:15 p.m.
With wins, they advance to the championship games on Tuesday, Dec. 30. With losses, they will play in the consolation contest on Tuesday, Dec. 30.
On January 3, 2009, the Patriots and Lady Patriots will play in the North Pontotoc Shootout - the girls meeting Nettleton and the boys battling Falkner.
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