Thursday, January 8, 2009
MA on court during holidays
By BARRY BURLESON
The semi-final round of the Brookhaven Tournament proved to be a bit rugged for Marshall Academy. But the Lady Patriots and Patriots regrouped for the consolation contests.
“All in all, I think the Brookhaven Tournament will help prepare us for our playoff run in February,” head coach Craig Dailey said.
December 29 Semi-Finals
Cold shooting plagued the Lady Patriots in the early going and they couldn’t recover versus Oak Forest, La. They lost 54-41 to a team Dailey called “the best all-around private school we’ve faced.”
Marshall trailed 24-17 at the half and then Oak Forest outscored the Lady Pats 18-8 in the third.
“We missed a lot of shots early,” he said, “and that changed the complexion of the game.
“Traci (Rodgers) was not Traci, and we couldn’t buy a bucket anywhere else. In reflection, we were tight, and they were very, very good.”
Rodgers finished with 20 points. Callie Clanton added 11.
“Callie’s 10 points in the fourth quarter were big, but we were in too big of a hole,” Dailey said.
This year’s State AA Tournament will be back in Brookhaven February 17-21.
“I’d rather lose this one than when or if we go back to Brookhaven,” he said. “This was good State AA practice. We just have to perform better when the real thing comes around. Oak Forest is beatable; we just have to go to work.”
The Marshall Academy boys had a much more rugged night in the semis. Dailey said they ran into a “buzz saw” and fell 62-34 to a talented Trinity squad.
“We’re better than this, but they are awfully good,” he said. “I watched them beat Brookhaven at Brookhaven by double digits the next night, and that’s no easy task in that gym.”
The Patriots fell behind 32-19 at the half.
Caleb Byrd led the MA scoring with 10. Jake Omedeo added nine.
“We just couldn’t score,” Dailey said. “We just have to get back in the gym and get to work. We haven’t lost anything yet. It just gave us plenty to work on.”
He praised John Tomlinson’s defense on Trinity’s top scorer.
“That was one bright spot,” Dailey said. “He lit Brookhaven up the next night in the championship.”
Dec. 30 Consolation
Three Lady Patriots scored in double figures as they stormed back from a Monday loss to rout Copiah 64-33.
Rodgers was the top gun with 30. Emily Burk scored 17, and Clanton added 14.
“Traci was Traci again,” Dailey said. “It was good to see her shoot so well in that gym. Emily had a good all-around game. We are very tough when she puts up those offensive numbers. Callie’s four threes in that gym made me feel good if we can get back there (for state).”
The MA girls were on top 27-15 at the intermission.
The Marshall Academy boys turned up the defensive heat in the second half and clobbered Copiah 57-24 Tuesday of last week.
The Patriots outscored their opponent 23-2 in the third quarter after holding a slim 22-16 halftime advantage.
“The star of the game was our second half defense – holding them to two points in the third quarter while exploding for 23 ourselves in that frame,” Dailey said. “I’m proud of the way the boys bounced back. It was a good gut check and they responded.”
Leading point producers were Byrd with 14, Jordan Brock with 12, Taylor Maurey with 10 and Chad Mitchell with seven.
“Caleb had a very good night on the offensive end, and Jordan and Taylor rounded out a balanced offensive attack,” he said. “Chad had some big buckets throughout the game.”
The goal for the boys, too, is to return to Brookhaven in a month and a half.
“Nothing has changed – we’re still where we need to be in district,” Dailey said. “We know now where the bar is set at state. We just have to go to work and get district and north and see how much better we are when we get back in February.”
The Copiah boys were coached by a good friend of Dailey’s and a good friend to many at Marshall – Hoyte Carothers.
“It was good to compete against a legendary coach,” Dailey said. “He meant a lot to me as headmaster (when Dailey coached at Delta Academy), and he means a lot to me personally and to the MA family. He’s a great guy. He always speaks highly of Marshall.”
Marshall Academy teams visited Lee (Ark.) on Tuesday of this week as district play resumed. Two other district opponents await this week, both at home – Carroll Academy on Thursday night and Lee (Clarksdale) on Friday night. They host Magnolia Heights next Tuesday, Jan. 13.
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