Thursday, February 18, 2010
Marshall teams going to state
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Patriots spent four nights away from home last week and proved it was well worth the stay.
They capped the trip to Madden (near Philadelphia and Carthage) with a North AA championship. Their victims were Lamar School, Hillcrest Christian and Canton Academy.
“This was a huge hurdle for this young team,” said coach Craig Dailey, whose squad improved to 25-7. “I couldn’t be prouder of them. They are really becoming a special group.”
The Patriots struggled early versus Lamar Wednesday but escaped with a 49-41 victory on the campus of Leake Academy.
MA was behind 10-4 early and 16-11 after one period. Chase Ferrell’s putback tied the game at 16 with 6:02 to go in the second quarter. Then Taylor Maurey sparked a Marshall run that pushed the Pats ahead by as many as 12 points. They were on top 31-22 at intermission.
Jordan Wyke hit three threes in third quarter. MA led 42-31 at the end of the period.
Wyke and Maurey combined for four free throws down the stretch to secure the eight-point win. The two finished with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Two of the top five teams in Class AA collided Friday. Marshall never trailed higher-ranked Hillcrest and earned a huge 58-52 win.
Three Patriots scored in double digits – Maurey with 19, Wyke with 17 and Ferrell with 10.
Marshall was on top 11-8 after the first quarter, 26-24 at the half and 40-36 following three periods.
Its biggest lead in the first quarter was six points. The Cougars tied the game twice in the second quarter - 15-15 and 20-20 - but never led. Wyke hit a long three with 29 seconds left in the half to put MA up six but Hillcrest sliced it to two at the break.
Maurey, Caleb Byrd and Wyke hit big shots in the third quarter as MA led by as many as seven.
The Pats, with a five-point lead, spread the floor in the closing minutes. Maurey, Ferrell and Wyke sank key free throws as the Patriots went on to win by six.
Both Marshall and Canton got off to slow starts in the championship game Saturday. The Pats surged ahead by as many as 14 points in the first half, lost the lead briefly in the fourth quarter and then celebrated the 55-50 North State championship win.
The Pats led 13-9 after one period. It was 28-14 when Jake Omedeo hit a three at the 3:58 mark of the second quarter. MA was up 35-22 at halftime.
Marshall didn’t score its first points of the second half until the 4:46 mark of the third quarter. Its lead was sliced to 40-37 by the end of the period.
Canton went ahead 50-48 on two free throws with 2:19 to go in the game.
A minute later Jordan Brock drilled a three and the Pats never trailed again. Brock calmly nailed two free throws with six seconds to go to secure the first-place trophy.
Top scorers were Maurey with 13 and Brock and Ferrell with 12 each.
Named to the All North State Tournament team were Maurey, Wyke and Ferrell.
“Chase had a tremendous tournament on both ends of the floor,” Dailey said. “Jordo (Wyke) hit some huge shots. Jordan’s three versus Canton was unbelievably clutch. Taylor had a huge tournament. Caleb and Jake’s senior leadership and play on the floor is what it’s all about. John (Tomlinson) was a defensive force in the Hillcrest game. Matt (Rappa) won the Hillcrest game with his minutes on their star player. Mitch (Gholson) put the bug in my head to start Rappa in the second half. It was a good call by Mitch. He’s becoming a heck of an assistance coach.”
The Patriots get a bye in this week’s Class AA State Tournament at Indianola Academy. They will face the Hillcrest-Brookhaven winner Friday at 7:15 p.m. in the semi-finals. In the other side of the bracket are Bowling Green, Canton and Columbia.
“The boys just can’t be satisfied,” Coach Dailey said. “North State blue (first-place trophy) is great but that next one is what all our work has been about. We’re one win from the state title game. I hope all of our Patriot fans come out Friday night. We need your help.”
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