Thursday, February 12, 2009
MA teams take district crowns
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Lady Patriots and Patriots hoisted District 1-AA championship trophies to the cheers of the home fans Saturday.
The MA girls beat Indianola by eight points, while the boys rolled over Lee (Clarksdale) by 18. Their season marks improved to 29-7 and 21-12, respectively.
Next up is the North AA Tournament at Canton. Marshall squads opened play Tuesday - the girls versus Canton and the boys versus Tri-County.
“Getting the number one seeds is huge,” coach Craig Dailey said. “We’re in a good situation for this week.”
Points were hard to come by in the Marshall-Indianola girls clash. But the Lady Pats, who trailed by three at halftime, came through in the clutch and downed the Lady Colonels 36-28.
“We knew it would be a war, and it was even more than that,” Dailey said. “This was two good teams that knew each other well. There were no surprises – no way to get anything cheap.”
Kelsey Shaw’s three gave Marshall a 9-4 lead with 1:15 left in the first quarter and forced Indianola to call a timeout.
Marshall struggled from the free-throw line. Meanwhile, Indianola cashed in from the stripe and led 15-12 at the break.
MA caught fire in the third. Traci Rodgers’ three tied the score at 18 and then Molly West’s bucket put MA up for good at 20-18. Callie Clanton followed with a three.
The Lady Pats were up 26-20 after three.
Shaw opened the fourth with a basket, and MA kept control.
“I’m really proud of the girls,” Dailey said. “They’re really coming together. That’s three in a row (district crowns).
Rodgers led the offense with 16 points. Clanton and Shaw added eight each.
He said Rodgers had a tough night shooting, but Indianola had something to do with that. He complimented the strong defensive play of Emily Burk, Clanton, Shaw, West and Regan Murphy.
The Lady Pats survived poor free-throw shooting - hitting just 13 of 27 free throws, several of those the front end of one-and-one situations.
“That can bite us on down the road,” Dailey said. “We have to improve there.”
The Marshall boys, saddled with foul trouble, ran away from the Colts in the second half for the 63-45 win. The team has no seniors.
“This is a testament to the program - the way these young men have developed as basketball players,” Dailey said. “With our youth, you can’t help but smile.”
The Pats held a slim 34-30 lead at intermission but outscored Lee 29-15 in the second half.
Chase Ferrell, who led MA in scoring with 15 points, had the first five of the game. The Patriots led 13-12 after one period.
“Chase was a warrior; he’s definitely not a freshman anymore,” Dailey said. “They came out in a triangle and two defense, leaving him and others open, and he ate them up.”
Ferrell’s assist to Taylor Maurey and then Jordan Brock’s steal and bucket stretched the margin to 19-12 and forced a Lee timeout.
But Lee made a late run to trim the halftime deficit to four.
After the Colts opened the third with a three, it was all Patriots. John Tomlinson’s putback made it 50-37 with 1:02 left in the third and Jake Omedeo’s drive and score stretched the margin to 15 points at period’s end.
“John probably turned the game in the third quarter with his defense, and they didn’t guard him so he got some big buckets, too,” Dailey said.
Marshall was on cruise control in the fourth.
Omedeo and Maurey followed Ferrell with 10 each. Brock and Tomlinson added eight each.
“Taylor did a great job at the point,” Dailey said. “They switched defenses, and he handled it well.”
Omedeo also shined on defense. He took four charges on the night, which Dailey called “huge.”
The Pats hit 15 of 22 free-throw tries.
The Marshall girls reached the championship contest with a 57-43 win over Carroll Friday night.
The lead was 23-3 following one quarter, thanks in large part to two threes from Rodgers and one from Burk.
“We just jumped on them early and sort of held on,” Dailey said. “We played a lot of people.”
Carroll, trailing 34-16 at the half, made a small run late in the third and early in the fourth and trimmed the deficit to 11. But MA got a putback from Rodgers and a three from Clanton midway through the fourth to stretch the lead back to a comfortable 16 points.
Rodgers gunned in 26 points. Clanton had 15 and Burk seven.
“Traci dominated them for three and half quarters,” Dailey said. “Callie had one of her best offensive games. We’re tough to beat when she’s on like that. Molly, Regan, and Emily had solid games defensively.”
The outcome of the Marshall-Carroll boys semi-final game was never in doubt. The Patriots eased to the 76-34 win.
“Everybody played, and everybody played well,” Dailey said.
Maurey scored the first six points of the game.
The lead was 21-4 after one period. Joey Omedeo hit back-to-back buckets late in the second quarter to make it 42-16. Then Aaron McAlexander sank back-to-back baskets for a 46-16 lead.
McAlexander, up off the junior high squad, scored 14. Maurey and Ferrell followed with 13 and 12, respectively. Jake Omedeo scored 11, Joey Omedeo eight and Jordan Brock seven.
“When an eighth grader is your leading scorer, that’s huge,” Dailey said. “Chase, Taylor and Jake had really good offensive games, plus Joey and Jordan.”
Named to the all-tournament team were Lady Patriots Shaw, West, Clanton and Rodgers, and Patriots Brock, Ferrell, Maurey and Jake Omedeo.
On Tuesday of last week, Marshall teams concluded the regular season with wins at Tunica Academy.
Maurey’s 16 points led the Patriots to a 57-41 win. Caleb Byrd scored 13 and Ferrell 12.
Ten Lady Patriots scored in their 54-15 rout of Tunica. Rodgers was the top gun with 19. Megan Isbell added eight.
The north semi-finals and finals are Friday and Saturday at Canton Academy. Next week, the state tournament is at Brookhaven.
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