Thursday, December 23, 2010
MA sweeps rival Kirk
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Lady Patriots never trailed Friday night at Kirk and stunned the higher-ranked Lady Raiders.
Kelsey Shaw and Callie Clanton combined for six threes as MA beat the district foe 35-27.
The Kirk girls entered with a number three ranking in Class AA, according to the Clarion-Ledger, while the Lady Pats were tabbed fifth in last week’s poll.
“That was one of the best defensive efforts by one of my teams in a long time,” coach Craig Dailey said. “The kids completely shut down their sets. This was a huge win for our girls. It puts us in the driver’s seat in the district.
“This is one of three (versus Kirk) if we both end up in the district championship again, and each one will be more important. But this one was a shot in the arm for my girls. Now they (Kirk) get to chase us.”
It was Emma Elgin’s three that gave Marshall a 7-2 advantage at the end of the third period.
Then Clanton and Shaw caught fire in the second quarter, each hitting two threes to push the lead to 19-10. MA was up 21-10 at the halfway point.
Kirk cut the deficit to 23-15 at the end of the third period. But Shaw added two more long-range bombs in the fourth quarter to up the score to 31-17.
The Lady Pats went on to win by eight.
Shaw led the way with 14 points. Clanton had 12.
“Kelsey has had a tremendous first half of the season and tonight was one of her best,” coach Craig Dailey said. “Callie hit several huge baskets and completely shut down their best guard. This was definitely her best all-around game of the year.
“Megan (Anderson), Lauralee (Fant) and Emma all had big plays on both ends of the floor. Lane (Cunningham) played their post star straight up and held her to one field goal.”
In the late game, the Marshall boys struggled a bit in the early going before routing the Raiders 65-30.
All 11 Patriots scored. The only one in double digits was Matt Rappa with 11. Taylor Maurey added nine, Chase Ferrell and Jordan Brock eight apiece and Andy Burleson seven.
“Matt has steadily been improving his play and tonight was one of his best all-around games,” Dailey said. “He has really developed his skills and his mental game.
“Taylor, Chase, Andy and Jordan all contributed in a balanced team effort.
“Cliff (McCain) has done a good job with that Kirk group and they will get better and better as the year goes on.”
After trailing 4-3 two minutes into the game at Grenada, MA pulled in front 19-12 after one period.
Buckets from Mitch Gholson and Kevin Fitzpatrick in the last minute of the half gave the Pats a 32-20 lead at the intermission.
Marshall tucked away the victory in the third by going up by 25 (47-22) at the end of the quarter.
Vince Hoyt closed out the scoring with a three and the Patriots won by 35.
Both Marshall squads improved to 2-0 in District 1-AA play.
MA vs. St. Benedict
The Marshall Lady Patriots led 2-0 Saturday night over St. Benedict at Auburndale in neighboring Tennessee but it was all Lady Eagles after that.
Big school SBA coasted to the 47-18 win.
“Ouch – their strengths went to our weaknesses and made for a long night,” Coach Dailey said.
MA trailed 18-5 after one quarter, 32-8 at the half and 42-10 following three periods.
Lane Cunningham and
scored six points each for the Lady Patriots (10-8).
“We are looking forward to a week off to enjoy the holidays and the come back to get ready for the Brookhaven Tournament,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of my girls. They have arrived at Christmas break tested and ready for district competition.”
The Marshall boys kept battling and battling in their game at St. Benedict. They rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half to tie the game before falling 64-57.
“They stuck us,” Coach Dailey said. “I don’t believe we will face a more athletic team.
“I feel good even in the loss. At the break we have a solid record versus this tough schedule and haven’t lost in the MAIS (Mississippi Association of Independent Schools). Brookhaven will be a huge barometer for us.”
The game was tied at 4 at the 4:11 mark of the first quarter but the Eagles went on a 10-3 run to close the period with a 14-7 lead.
St. Benedict increased the margin to 23-12 with 1:08 to go in the first half. MA’s Jordan Brock scored off a steal and teammate Peyton Lewis drilled a three at the half-time horn. MA was down 25-17 at the recess.
The Pats fell behind 35-21 midway through the third. But Joey Omedeo, Brad Bennett, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Ferrell sparked a run that sliced the deficit to 41-38 at the end of the period.
Omedeo’s three tied the game at 43 with 7:15 remaining. But then Marshall committed four consecutive turnovers that led to St. Benedict baskets.
At the 5:07 mark, the Patriots trailed 55-43.
Brock and Gholson hit threes down the stretch to cut the final margin to seven.
Fitzpatrick finished with 14 points, while Bennett scored 10, Ferrell eight and Omedeo seven.
“Kevin had huge game on both ends of the floor,” Dailey said. “He brought us back in the second half and gets better each time out. Brad came off the bench to play well under pressure. Joey hit some huge shots and made some big hustle plays to help bring us back.”
Marshall’s record went to 13-4 at the Christmas break. The Patriots are ranked fifth in Class AA by the Clarion-Ledger.
“I’m proud of this group of boys,” Dailey said. “Every kid I put on the floor has proven to be willing to pay the extra price it takes to obtain our goals. That’s pretty uncommon in today’s times.”
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