Thursday, January 29, 2009
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy teams have earned the top seeds in the district tournament which they will host February 5-7.
The Patriots and Lady Patriots each finished 10-0 in District 1-AA. The biggest of the wins last week came at Lee (Clarksdale) for the boys and at home versus Indianola for the girls.
Marshall versus Lee
The Patriots broke open a close game at halftime and quieted the rowdy Colts’ student section with the 53-44 win.
“It was one of our best all-around games of the year against a solid basketball team in a hostile environment,” coach Craig Dailey said.
Caleb Byrd drilled two threes to rally Marshall from a 17-13 deficit in the second quarter. The Pats were up 23-21 at the half.
Jake Omedeo and Jordan Brock hit back-to-back threes midway through the third quarter and MA led 37-27.
The margin was 40-29 after three.
“We pulled away in the third and held serve the rest of the way,” Dailey said. “I’m very proud of these young men; they’re becoming a tough, all-around team.”
Taylor Maurey nailed four straight free throws in the fourth. The team hit nine of 12 in the final quarter.
Maurey led the scoring with 15. Byrd added 13 and Brock 11. Dailey complimented those three for their offensive production and strong defense. He also said Omedeo, Chase Ferrell and John Tomlinson contributed well on both ends of the court.
The MA girls had no trouble with the Lee Fillies. They won 54-27.
“Our defensive effort was solid,” Dailey said. “Lee just really struggled to score.”
Traci Rodgers was the top offensive gun with 21 points.
“She got us up solidly going into the fourth and got to rest,” Dailey said.
Emily Burk scored 12 and Callie Clanton nine. Regan Murphy scored seven, including a three with 30 seconds left in the game.
“Emily was very aggressive on offense, and Callie and Regan completed a good team offensive night,” Dailey said.
Marshall vs. Indianola
The top teams in the district battled neck-and-neck for one half. But the second half was all Marshall.
The Lady Patriots, trailing 24-23 at the break, went on a 17-10 run in the third and then outscored the Lady Colts 16-8 in the fourth. The final was 56-41.
“What a war,” Dailey said. “I told our kids before our first district game with them that there would be at least three wars, and this one didn’t disappoint.”
Burk opened the game with a three. Six minutes later Clanton’s three gave the Lady Patriots a 12-4 lead. But Indianola rallied to tie and go ahead.
“We got in deep foul trouble in the first half, and Megan (Isbell) had some huge minutes to allow us to weather it,” Dailey said.
Rodgers’ three at the 3:51 mark of the third put MA in front 34-27 and forced an Indianola timeout. Then then near the end of three she passed to Molly West, who scored for a 40-31 lead.
He praised the defensive efforts of Kelsey Shaw and Clanton, who combined to hold Indianola’s Dodson to five points in the second half.
“Kelsey fought through a first-half injury, and Emily (Burk) had a tremendous game on both ends and battled through a second-half collision,” he said. “Molly and Regan each contributed huge points and had their normal exceptional defensive nights. Callie had a good offensive night, especially in light of her foul trouble, and Traci destroyed them with two or three covering her all night.”
Clanton, Murphy and Rodgers nailed free throws to secure the win in the fourth.
MA (25-7 overall) was 24 of 32 from the line, Rodgers going nine of 11 and Burk eight of 10.
Rodgers finished with 26 points. Clanton had 12 and Burk 11.
“I’m so proud of these young ladies – going unbeaten in the district,” Dailey said. “Hopefully, we can do it again in a couple of weeks.”
The Marshall boys started slowly versus Indianola but Byrd put an end to that. He sank three threes to finish the first quarter and two more in the second to push the Patriots’ lead to 32-4.
Marshall was on cruise control the rest of the way - winning 64-15.
“The guys made a huge defensive statement,” Dailey said. “IA scored 90 the night before. This group of guys can flat guard.
“Caleb destroyed their zone with six threes. Chase gave them fits on the press. Mitch (Gholson), Joey (Omedeo), Chad (Mitchell) and Kendall (Harris) all played extremely well in the second half.”
Byrd gunned in 22 for the Pats, (18-11 overall). Ferrell followed with 10. Gholson scored nine.
“To go undefeated in district with this young of a team shows tremendous heart and guts by our kids,” he said. “Now we have to do it again in two weeks.”
Marshall vs. MHEA
MA teams split with Memphis-Area Home Education Association (MHEA) on Tuesday of last week at home.
The Lady Patriots were down 20-8 with 5:52 to go in the first quarter but turned things around. They outscored the Lady Eagles 42-8 the remainder of the game and won 50-28.
The Marshall girls hit 18 of 20 free throws, including nine of 10 in the fourth quarter.
Three Lady Pats scored in double digits - Rodgers with 19, Burk with 16 and Clanton with 13.
“We were slow to get going in the first half versus their zone,” Dailey said. “In the second half we shut down a pretty good offensive team and finally got rolling on offensive ourselves.”
In the nightcap, the Patriots ran into a red hot MHEA squad. They trailed 44-24 at the half and lost 84-53.
Byrd had 14 to lead the Patriots’ effort. Four players had six each.
“What a buzz saw,” Dailey said. “They got rolling early, and we couldn’t slow them down.”
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