Thursday, November 11, 2010
Marshall teams open with wins
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy basketball teams blistered Lee (Marianna, Ark.) Monday, Nov. 1, to start the regular schedule.
The Lady Patriots, coming off a 2-1 showing in their own preseason tournament, got off to a lackluster start but rolled over the Lady Cougars 50-24.
The MA girls trailed 7-4 midway through the opening period but Lane Cunningham’s basket at the 1:20 mark gave them a lead they never relinquished.
The lead was 12-7 after one quarter, 24-11 at the half and 38-18 following three periods.
“We were definitely slow out of the gate, but the girls finally got rolling in the second quarter to put Lee away,” coach Craig Dailey said. “We had opened with them (in the tournament) and handled them well. We probably took them lightly early.”
Callie Clanton gunned in 21 points. Cunningham followed with 11.
“Callie had another good offensive night,” he said. “She seems to be coming into her own and offensive production was one of my pre-season worries with this group.
“Kelsey (Shaw) and Emma (Elgin) hit some big baskets to pull us away.
“Lane had an excellent game. I am so proud of her development; it shows what hard work and dedication can do. She just needs to keep improving.”
“This girls group has a chance to surprise some folks. We just have to keep on keeping on and see how good we can be.”
The MA boys also got off to a slow start before scorching Lee 68-29 in their season opener.
The Pats railed 3-2 with 4:44 to go in the first quarter. But they surged ahead 14-7 after one quarter, and in the second period Mitch Gholson, Andy Burleson and Jordan Brock all drilled threes to stretch the advantage to 34-16.
“Lee isn’t our toughest opponent, but this showing bodes well for when we have everyone,” Dailey said. “I have four starters from the summer on the football field. I believe my non-football players are going to push my others and it ought to be a fun year. Practice should be wars.”
Four Patriots scored in double digits, led by Gholson with 21. Brad Bennett had 15, Brock 12 and Burleson 10.
“Mitch was unconscious on offense,” Dailey said. “I am so proud of his evolution as a player. He has done it the right way with hard work, He is going to fill a big gap in our offensive perimeter play.
“Brad had a good night. I knew he would help us offensive, but his defense has steadily improved since his arrival.
“Jordan has played well all fall and is establishing himself as a major offensive factor.
“Andy has been on fire for the last two weeks. Perimeter shooting is an area I really worried about from the summer work and pre-season. He has proven to be capable of filling it up when left open.”
The MA girls hosted Tunica Academy Monday and the boys (WTC), a home school team out of Memphis, Tenn. Tuesday, the Patriots and Lady Patriots hosted Myrtle. They got Marvell (Ark.) Thursday. The boys only will play in the Crossover Classic Saturday, Nov. 13, at Oxford. The Patriots play Lewisburg at 2 p.m. Next Tuesday, Nov. 16, Marshall teams host Hickory Flat.
“Basketball is in high gear,” Dailey said.
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