Thursday, November 25, 2010
MA teams enjoy 6-0 week
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy passed a strong test last week against public school opposition.
The Patriots and Lady Patriots got wins over Hickory Flat, North Pontotoc and Pine Grove.
The boys improved their early-season mark to 8-0.
“I think we have proven kids – regardless of public or private,” coach Craig Dailey said. “Now we have to come back and do it again in some ‘unfriendly confines’ and I suspect they will be even more unfriendly after these past two weeks’ work.”
The Pats visited Myrtle Monday night. They go to Hickory Flat December 10 - rematches of earlier games.
The MA girls improved to 7-3.
“The girls have about a 12-game run to the Christmas break that resembles ‘murderers’ row,’” Dailey said. “We’ve had a good start on that trek.”
The Lady Patriots held a narrow lead most of the way and held on to down the Lady Rebels 53-50 Tuesday, Nov. 16, at home.
MA was red hot from long range early. Kelsey Shaw, Emma Elgin and Callie Clanton all hit threes as the Lady Pats built a 21-11 advantage with 5:34 to go in the second quarter.
But Hickory Flat rallied. Shalonda Reynolds’ lay-up in the last minute of the first half put the visitors on top 22-21.
Elizabeth Skelton sank three free throws in the last 18 seconds and MA led 27-24 at intermission.
The Lady Pats drilled six threes in the first half.
Marshall maintained its three-point lead through three quarters and went up by as many as eight early in the fourth.
Then the Lady Rebs chipped away – cutting it to one at the 1:47 mark.
MA’s Elgin and Lane Cunningham hit a free throw each in the last 20 seconds to seal the win.
Clanton finished with 17 points and Shaw with 15.
Reynolds topped the Hickory Flat attack with 16.
“Hickory Flat came in undefeated and this was a big win for us,” Dailey said. “Callie and Kelsey were clicking on all cylinders. Emma and Elizabeth had some huge baskets. Lane’s second half was big. Megan (Anderson) and Lauralee (Fant) did yeoman’s work on Hickory Flat’s perimeter stars.”
It was a battle of unbeatens in the nightcap with the Marshall boys building as much as a 22-point lead before taking a 70-59 win.
“Two undefeateds, a big crowd, a rowdy student section and a well-coached opponent – wow,” Dailey said. “It’s ‘Hill Country basketball’ and it’s what made me love this game growing up.”
MA led 20-13 after one quarter on Brad Bennett’s assist to Aaron McAlexander and then really grabbed the momentum in the second. The margin was 41-22 at half-time.
Bennett’s three pushed the advantage to 56-34 after three periods.
But a never-say-die Hickory Flat squad made a run in the fourth. The Rebels cut it to 10 with 1:43 left. Then Chase Ferrell scored on a drive, was fouled and hit the free throw to seal the deal.
McAlexander poured in a game-high 19 points. Ferrell and Bennett added 12 each.
For Hickory Flat, Henry Bell scored 13 and Michael Penilton 12.
“Aaron had a huge game,” Dailey said. “Chase came through in the second half on both ends of the floor. Joey’s (Omedeo) and Brad’s nine points apiece show the power of this year’s team – production in several different places. Jordan (Brock), Mitch (Gholson), Peyton (Lewis) and Kevin (Fitzpatrick) all contributed with big baskets and on the defensive end.”
Emma Elgin’s lay-up with one second left on the clock gave MA a thrilling 42-40 win over Class 4A North Pontotoc Thursday night at the Pine Grove Tournament.
The Lady Pats led 13-5 after one quarter, thanks to three straight threes from Shaw. They were up 25-16 at the half and by as many as 11 in the third quarter, but saw that lead dwindle.
With eight seconds to go in the game, North Pontotoc trailed 40-39 and a Lady Viking went to the line for free throws. She hit the first and missed the second. Clanton grabbed the rebound and threw the ball the length of the court to an open Elgin, who scored the game-winner.
Clanton was the top scorer with 18. Shaw added 13.
“North Pontotoc was huge, but the girls found a way to chop ’em down a little,” Dailey said. “We broke our starting rotation to put Lane on their 6’1” post player and it worked well. Callie had another big night. Kelsey was on fire the first half. Emma had some big baskets, including the game winner.”
The Marshall boys were clicking on all cylinders. They were up by as many as 24 in the first half and defeated the Vikings 73-60.
Ferrell gave the Patriots the early momentum with four points to start the game. Bennett and Andy Burleson hit a three each to push the lead to 12-6.
It was 24-15 after one quarter.
In the third, Taylor Maurey, Burleson and Bennett all fired in a three. It was 39-15. Fitzpatrick and Ferrell added buckets before the half. The lead was 16 points – 41-25.
MA stretched it back to 21 in the third on Omedeo’s drive to the hoop. After three, the Pats were up 55-35.
North Pontotoc got to within 12 in the fourth before Marshall won by 13.
Ten Patriots scored. In double digits were Bennett with 16, Ferrell with 14 and Maurey with 10.
“Brad was on fire early and helped bust up their zone,” Dailey said. “Andy and Mitch both drilled huge treys. Taylor is working off the rust (after finishing up football) and had a good game. Joey made me proud. He earned the start and stuck their post (on defense) in this one.”
MA teams wrapped up the Pine Grove Tournament by sweeping the host school.
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