Thursday, January 22, 2009
Lady Patriots stun IA Lady Colonels
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy teams grabbed a firm hold last week atop the district standings.
The Patriots and Lady Patriots swept Indianola Academy and Kirk Academy on the hardwood, while falling to non-district rival Magnolia Heights.
Calling the Lady Patriots’ 17-point win at Indianola Friday night a big win would likely be a big understatement.
The MA girls dealt the Lady Colonels just their fourth loss of the season. The final was 50-33.
“That put us in good position for the number one seed in the district tournament,” coach Craig Dailey said. “Our second half defense might have been the best I’ve had since I’ve been here.”
The game was tight, until the fourth quarter. That’s when MA outscored the home team 23-8.
The team’s leading scorer, Traci Rodgers, got off to a slow start but finished with a game-high 23 points. Callie Clanton contributed eight. Emily Burk and Kelsey Shaw had six each.
Shaw’s points came on back-to-back threes in the fourth quarter that upped Marshall’s lead to 38-27. Burk followed that with a three-point play the old-fashioned way.
“Traci exploded in the second half with 19 of her points,” Dailey said. “She finally figured out their double team. She really showed a lot of heart. It was a tough situation with Delta State there watching her. She showed a lot of character, battling through.
“Callie’s first half and Kelsey’s second half points were huge. Callie played great defense on their star, holding her to eight. Emily had some big baskets and played excellent defense. Regan (Murphy) and Molly (West) had great games, filling their roles.”
The Lady Pats (22-7 overall and 8-0 in district) were down 8-7 after one quarter. The game was tied at 18 at the half. MA led 27-25 at the end of three.
“The girls are coming together,” Dailey said. “I’m proud of them.”
The Marshall boys put the Colonels away early. They led 17-5 after one quarter and coasted to the 50-37 win.
The Patriots grabbed that early 12-point margin when Caleb Byrd nailed a three with just three ticks left in the opening period.
Byrd finished with 15. Jake Omedeo followed with 10, and Jordan Brock scored nine.
“Caleb had a good offensive night,” Dailey said. “Jake and Jordan hit some huge baskets versus their zone.
“It’s tough to make a three-hour trip and play well, but we played well enough to win.”
MA (16-10 overall and 8-0 in district) was on top 29-14 at the half and 39-24 after three quarters.
The defenses dominated in the clash between the Lady Patriots and the Raiderettes Saturday in Holly Springs.
Rodgers and Clanton combined for 28 of the teams 38 as the Lady Patriots survived Kirk’s upset bid 38-29.
“We definitely had a little hangover from the Indianola win and the travel, but we found a way to win this one,” Dailey said. “Traci battled through an average shooting night. Callie had a good night offensively. Kirk is much improved.”
Rodgers scored 16, while Clanton had 12.
MA went up 25-14 at the half, thanks to Megan Isbell’s steal and pass to Clanton, who scored.
The lead was 31-22 at the end of three.
In the fourth Clanton hit a three to put the home team 34-24. Then Clanton and Rodgers nailed big free throw in the last 40 seconds to secure the nine-point win.
The boys’ game was close for just one quarter. The Patriots dominated the rest of the way and routed the Raiders 67-48.
Four Patriots had 13 points each – Byrd, Omedeo, Brock and Taylor Maurey.
“Four players in double figures shows a lot of balance,” Dailey said. “Jake and Jordan led us in the first half and Caleb and Taylor in the second. Chase (Ferrell) and Chad (Mitchell) contributed well on both ends. John (Tomlinson) stuck their star (Martin) again, holding him to five points.”
Omedeo’s putback off a teammate’s missed free throw put Marshall up 32-21 with 2:16 left in the first half and ignited the home crowd.
MA was on top 41-26 at the half.
Byrd got things rolling in the second half with a three. Then Chad Mitchell sank a couple of long-range bombs. The lead was suddenly 55-33 and the Patriots went on to win by 19 points.
“We’re undefeated in district with two games left,” Dailey said. “We have to continue to improve and grow up. I’m proud of them.”
A young Marshall Academy boys basketball team, with no seniors, came oh so close to knocking off Class AAA Magnolia Heights Tuesday of last week at home.
The Patriots had as much as a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter but lost 57-56 to the Chiefs in overtime.
“We played a great three and a half quarters,” Dailey said. “We have to use a game like this to grow up and get better. You can’t simulate those type situations in practice.”
A couple of MA turnovers and a Magnolia Heights three sliced the Patriots’ lead to 49-44 with 2:07 to go in the fourth. The visitors tied the contest at 50 on a shot in the lane with just seven seconds to go.
Byrd’s desperation shot from beyond mid-court just missed the target at the buzzer.
Marshall took a two-point lead in OT, but the Chiefs scratched back to lead by five with 45 ticks remaining. Then the Pats created a couple of turnovers and got a basket from Maurey and free throws from Byrd to pull within one with 22 seconds to go.
The Patriots got the ball back but couldn’t get off a good shot before the buzzer sounded.
“You have get a shot in that situation,” Dailey said. “Watching film, it was just bad luck. We made the right play – sophomore to freshman – and I like those odds for the future.
“I was very pleased with our effort. We played a lot better against them. They whipped us by 15 at their place.”
Byrd poured in 29 points. Maurey added 12 and Brock nine.
The girls game wasn’t as close. The Lady Patriots fell 51-34 to the Lady Chiefs.
“We just don’t match up real well with them,” Dailey said. “We lost to them by 1 at their place, and they played us man-to-man. That zone this time whipped us. We didn’t do a good job against it. We just couldn’t muster enough points.
“Defensively, we did OK. They’re just tough to guard.”
Traci Rodgers scored 22 of MA’s 34. Callie Clanton added 10.
The Lady Pats trailed 25-12 at the half.
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