Thursday, February 18, 2010
Marshall teams going to state
By BARRY BURLESON
Come tournament time, records can be tossed out the gymnasium door. Just ask the Marshall Academy Lady Patriots.
The MA girls, 14-17 entering the North AA Tournament last week, upset highly-ranked teams Hillcrest Christian and Oak Hill Academy to reach the championship game. Then they put a first-half scare into number one Leake Academy and its home crowd before falling by 16 points.
“I’m as proud of this group as any I’ve coached,” coach Craig Dailey said. “Playing for a North State title is a tribute to their ability to stick with it. We are playing our best basketball when it matters most.”
The Lady Patriots led favored Hillcrest by as many as 16 points Wednesday before eliminating the Lady Cougars 52-40.
Callie Clanton, who finished with 17 points, scored six straight to end the first quarter and start the second as MA moved ahead 10-6. Emma Elgin drilled three long-range threes and the lead was 25-12. The margin was 28-12 at the half, thanks to Emily Burk’s basket and free throw.
Elgin scored 12 in the win and Burk 10.
The Lady Pats led 38-25 after three quarters. A three from Kelsey Shaw, a basket by Elgin and two free throws from Chelsey Gilliam nailed down the 12-point win.
Underdog Marshall pulled off another shocker in the semi-finals Friday. The Lady Patriots turned back Oak Hill, a team it had lost two twice in the regular season, by a 42-33 final.
The MA girls trailed 19-18 at halftime. They outscored the Lady Raiders 24-14 in the second half. Fifteen of those 24 points came on six field goals and nine came from the free-throw stripe. Meanwhile, a stingy Marshall defense limited Oak Hill to just four field goals in the second half.
MA hit 14 of 24 free throw tries in the win.
Clanton led the team in scoring with 13 points. Shaw followed with 12.
The Lady Patriots fought hard against powerhouse Leake in the title game Saturday before falling 49-33.
Thanks in large part to the three-point shooting of Elgin, Marshall rallied from an early deficit to go ahead 19-18 with 2:25 left in the first half.
But the Lady Rebels cashed in a couple of MA turnovers and took a 27-21 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Leake (33-2) pulled away in the second half, leading 39-24 after three quarters.
Elgin gunned in 18 points. Burk added 10.
Named to the All North State Tournament squad were Clanton, Burk and Elgin.
“Emily is a warrior; she’s an amazing senior leader,” Dailey said. “Emma had a tremendous tournament, and the Leake game was huge. Chelsey, Lauralee (Fant) and Megan (Anderson) all had big defensive moments throughout the week. Kelsey played her best basketball to date. Callie’s Hillcrest game was the best I’ve seen her play.”
The Lady Pats (16-18) faced Prairie View Tuesday in the first round of the Class AA State Tournament at Indianola. With a win, they will play Brookhaven Friday at 2:15 in the semi-finals. In the other half of the bracket are Leake, Bowling Green and Kirk.
The top three teams from the state tournament (girls and boys) will move on to the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Overall Basketball Tournament next week at Mississippi College in Clinton.
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