Thursday, January 13, 2011
MA sweeps Chiefs
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy completed a sweet season sweep of Magnolia Heights Friday night.
The Lady Patriots won 50-38 in Senatobia, while the Patriots escaped with a 58-54 victory. They had beaten Magnolia Heights teams by 10 and 19, respectively, back on December 2 at home.
MA’s Kelsey Shaw blistered the nets in the girls game last week. She drilled five threes and scored 21 points in the 12-point win.
“Kelsey was absolutely on fire,” coach Craig Dailey said. “When she is hitting and playing at this level, we are hard to beat.”
Callie Clanton followed with 12 points. Emma Elgin scored eight.
“Callie had a solid offensive night and stuck their shooter, holding her to only one field goal after we switched matchups,” he said.
The Lady Patriots connected on five threes in the first quarter – two by Shaw, two by Elgin and one by Clanton. They led 21-11 after that quarter.
“We had a huge first quarter,” Dailey said. “We struggled with their zone for three and a half quarters the last time, and after a week of preparation, we whipped their zone from the start this time.
“Emma had a big first quarter and helped shoot them out of their zone.”
The advantage was still 10 (28-18) at the half.
MA, thanks to the hot shooting of Shaw, stretched the margin to 15 in the third.
The Lady Chiefs did not die. They cut it to six with 1:27 to go in the game but four free throws from Shaw and two from Lauralee Fant secured the victory.
Dailey also praised the contributions of Lane Cunningham, who had six points.
“Lane played a great game on both ends of the floor,” he said.
MA hit 17 of 25 free throws tries in the game.
“Magnolia at Magnolia is always tough and the girls really responded to get some momentum going into the a two and a half week district push,” Dailey said. “The next two weeks are huge. We will see if our tough schedule has prepared us.”
In the nightcap, the Marshall boys had early troubles but found a way to win by four.
“Magnolia Heights always seems to find another gear at their place,” Dailey said. “I’m proud of the way the guys withstood it.”
The Pats fell behind 4-0 and trailed 13-6 after one quarter. The only points came on two threes, one by Andy Burleson and another by Kevin Fitzpatrick.
But the MA outscored the Chiefs 18-10 in the second quarter to go up 24-23 at intermission.
Chase Ferrell scored on back-to-back buckets midway through the second period. Then when Taylor Maurey drove for a bucket with just under a minute left, the Patriots had their first lead at 22-21.
“Chase willed himself to the basket,” Coach Dailey said. “His heart is his greatest asset. Kevin is steadily improving and turned the tide in the second quarter to help get us over the hump.”
MA’s Peyton Lewis opened the third with a pair of long-range bombs. The lead was suddenly 30-23.
“Peyton has all the tools,” Dailey said. “He just has to find the fire. If he does, we just got a lot better. His offensive and defensive post presence could be huge down the stretch.”
Magnolia Heights did not quit. The home team scored eight straight to lead 31-30 with 4:23 to go in the third. Burleson’s three 20 seconds later put the Patriots back in front and Fitzpatrick scored on a fast break to pus the advantage to 41-37 at the conclusion of the period.
Marshall pulled in front by as many as nine in the fourth when Maurey scored, was fouled and hit the free throw.
“Andy had two huge threes in the game, and Taylor had a solid game running our offense and getting us out on the break,” Dailey said.
Then in the last minute the Pats had to hang on. Ferrell cashed in a three-point play with 26 seconds to go and with three seconds left, John Tomlinson, playing in his first game this season after recovering from football injury, nailed two free throws to ice the four-point win.
Ferrell led the offensive attack with 14 points. Fitzpatrick and Lewis were close behind with 13 each. Maurey scored 10. Lewis pulled down nine rebounds and Ferrell seven.
MA was 12 of 19 from the free-throw stripe – all shot in the second half.
“We had a great week of practice with some extra days to work and I feel we are close to figuring ourselves out,” Dailey said. “The kids are really focused on making a run at this thing and I am extremely excited at what they are showing me in practice and on the court.
“This district run coming should tell us a lot about what we are capable of. They are a hungry group.”
The Lady Patriots (12-10) and the Patriots (15-5) were slated to visit district foe West Memphis Tuesday. They host district competitors Indianola Academy and North Delta School Friday and Saturday, respectively. Next Monday, Jan. 17, they go to Tunica Academy.
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