Thursday, January 6, 2011
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy basketball teams had hoped for a better showing at the Brookhaven Holiday Tournament.
But the part of the season that really matters still awaits.
The Lady Patriots went 1-2 in the tourney and the Patriots 1-1.
“We just need to focus on getting better and seeing what we can accomplish,” coach Craig Dailey said about his MA girls.
As for the boys, he said, “We got a look at Central Private and Brookhaven (the tournament champion and runner-up and both in Class AA with Marshall) and we are definitely right in the mix. We just have to find what will separate us from them.”
Elizabeth Skelton hit the game-winning shot in the final seconds of overtime to lift the Lady Patriots past Centreville 39-38.
“Elizabeth (who finished with nine points) had a big second half and a clutch play at the buzzer,” Dailey said. “She improves the more she plays.”
MA led 14-11 at the half. The game was knotted at 32 at the end of regulation.
Emma Elgin was the Lady Pats’ top gun with 12. Callie Clanton and Kelsey Shaw scored eight each.
“They (Centreville) played a triangle and two defense on us with the two on Kelsey and Callie and we did not handle it very well,” Dailey said. “But we found a way to win.
“Callie and Kelsey hit some big shots. Emma had three threes and we needed them all.”
Katie Berry, a Centreville guard, had 27 of her team’s 38 points.
The Marshall Academy boys let a 14-point halftime lead slip away as they lost 75-64 to Trinity.
The Patriots were up 44-30 at the half and 56-47 after three quarters.
“We had a tremendous first three quarters and then the wheels fell off,” Dailey said. “It was a very weird finish to a game. We have to be able to hold at 14-point lead at half. I will not let that happen again, regardless.”
The Patriots fell behind 19-16 after one period. Then they outscored Trinity 28-11 in the second period. Taylor Maurey and Andy Burleson combined to produce 22 of those 28 points. Maurey scored 13 and Burleson nine in the second quarter.
MA could not hang on to a nine-point advantage entering the fourth. Trinity went on a 28-8 run to close the game.
The top point producers in the game were Maurey with 21, Chase Ferrell with 14 and Burleson with 12.
“Taylor had a very solid offensive night,” Coach Dailey said. “We just have to find a way as leaders on this team to not let this happen. Chase played well on both ends of the floor but again as leaders on this team we can’t lose in this way. Andy was a huge bright spot with a tremendous first half. He earned himself some extra minutes and is proving himself in the two-guard spot.”
The loss was disappointing – to say the least.
“At the end of the day, Trinity is the most athletic team we have faced all year and the deepest,” he said. “They are competitors and we got beat.”
The Lady Patriots had the tall task of trying to upset unbeaten and tradition rich Leake Academy in the semi-finals. They battled but fell 51-27.
“They (Leake) are every bit as tough as last year,” Dailey said about the defending state champs. “They just execute so well and feature tremendous offensive players.”
Marshall, which struggled at the free-throw line, trailed 16-1 after one quarter and 28-10 at the half.
Clanton got the Lady Pats to within 14 in the third quarter with one of her three threes in the game. She finished with 15 points.
“Callie had a solid offensive night versus their defense,” Dailey said.
“We just have to find a way to play fearless.
“If we can get back to them (Leake) at North State for the third straight year, that would be a huge accomplishment, and maybe the “moon will align” but we will never know if we don’t get there.”
Jenny Wilbanks had 34 points for Leake.
“She is the best player we have faced this season,” he said. “She can definitely play somewhere (in college) next year.”
The Marshall boys took out their frustrations on district rival Kirk in a consolation contest. They blasted the Raiders 72-27.
“The boys were as hungry as I’ve ever seen them,” Dailey said. “I hope they maintain that intensity. I love this group and believe we can do great things.”
The Patriots rolled to a 20-6 lead after one quarter. They were up 41-13 at halftime and 59-23 following three periods.
Kevin Fitzpatrick was the leading scorer with 11. Maurey added nine. Matt Rappa and Jordan Brock scored nine each.
“We learned a lot this week about ourselves and this team,” Dailey said. “Our early morning practice Wednesday at Brookhaven Academy was extremely productive and maybe a turning point for this group.
“We have to go to work and get better. I vowed to this group that we are going to work harder than any group I have had and that we are going to make one final push to see if we can get our program back to where it needs to be.”
The Lady Patriots closed the tournament with a 48-31 loss to Delta Academy. The MA girls finished fourth.
“They (Delta) took advantage of our weaknesses and whipped us,” Dailey said. “We have to get better. We are leading our district and winning that puts us opposite Leake at North State and in good position at getting back to them.”
Marshall trailed Delta by just one after one quarter. But the Lady Pats had trouble solving the Lady Raiders’ full-court pressure in the second quarter and fell behind 23-9. They lost by 17.
Clanton finished with 11 points. Elgin had nine.
The Patriots (14-5) and the Lady Patriots (11-10) visit Magnolia Heights Friday. They go to West Memphis next Tuesday, Jan. 11.
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