Thursday, February 11, 2010
Jr. high Patriots first in district
The Marshall Academy junior high boys capped an outstanding season with the District 1-AA Tournament championship trophy.
The Patriots finished with a 22-1 record.
MA began tournament play at Kirk Academy in Grenada as the number one seed against Indianola.
The Patriots won 53-34. Aaron McAlexander led the Patriots with 20 points, while John Wesley Ray had 17, and Zack Pritchett added 12.
The Patriots led 15-7 after the first quarter, 31-16 at the half and never looked back.
They advanced to face West Memphis Christian in the championship game.
In the championship game, the Patriots jumped out to a 17-6 lead after one quarter and a 26-11 advantage at the half. The Black Knights came storming out of halftime to cut the Patriot lead to 32-23 after three quarters before finally falling to Marshall 44-35.
The Patriots were led in scoring by McAlexander with 24 points and Pritchett with eight.
“The boys have really worked hard all year,” coach David Austin said. “We knew going in that they’d be pretty good but we knew we’d have to push them. They responded to the challenge well. I’m very proud of their achievements this year.
“Winning the district is always special, no matter how many times you win it. I hope the boys will take this in stride and continue to work hard as they move up to high school.”
The Marshall Academy junior high Lady Patriots entered the District 1-AA Tournament as the number four seed against West Memphis Christian.
The two teams split during the regular season with both games being decided by three points total.
The Lady Pats trailed 7-5 after one quarter but jumped out to an 18-10 lead at halftime. They would hold that lead into the fourth quarter at 27-19 but couldn’t hold off a furious West Memphis comeback. They lost 31-29 to the Lady Black Knights.
The Lady Pats were led in scoring by Elizabeth Skelton with 15 points.
The Marshall girls finished with a 5-12 record.
“We knew going into the season that it would be a lot of work,” Coach Austin said. “We had a little experience coming back, but three out of five starters had very little experience. With five players in grades 7-9 we were limited in what we could do.
“However, the girls showed tremendous heart and grit by continually going out and battling hard. They all improved greatly from the early part of the season to the end.
“They were a joy to work with and I was proud of how they competed each game. I’m proud of these girls and hope they will continue to dedicate themselves and work hard to get better.”
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