Thursday, June 16, 2011
Patriots enjoy ‘great week’ at Southaven Camp
By BARRY BURLESON
If the first team camp of the off-season is any indication, the Marshall Academy Patriots could be well on their way to defending their Class AA state basketball crown.
The Pats won eight and tied one versus public schools last week at Southaven.
“We had a great week against some of the largest public schools in the area,” coach Craig Dailey said. “It once was a hard sale to make the kids believe they could compete but not anymore. They know if they play our way they can compete against most anyone. I am very proud of the guys.”
MA finished 32-8 last season – winning the state championship and advancing to the semi-finals of the overall tournament.
“We know we have the ability and heart to be right back where we were last year and have a great chance at finally getting over that elusive overall hump,” he said. “Regardless, the guys are going to represent themselves, their families and their school unlike few I have had and will make me a very good coach along the way.”
He said seniors Andy Burleson, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Chase Ferrell are stepping into the leadership role.
“They did a tremendous job all week (at Southaven Team Camp) on the court and in particular, leadership-wise,” Dailey said. “Last year’s seniors set a very high bar, but these young men seem poised to raise that bar even higher in their senior campaign.”
He praised all his Patriots for their contributions at Southaven.
“Aaron (McAlexander) and Dakota (Dailey) held down the ball-handling and major scoring duties,” Dailey said. “It was fun to see them together again on the court. They complement each other well. They can be fun to watch.
“Brad (Bennett) and Peyton (Lewis) had big moments all week – none probably bigger than knocking off their tremendously-athletic former team, DeSoto Central.
“Matt (Rappa) did a tremendous job battling the big men in the post and took a huge charge in the DeSoto Central game.
“Vince (Hoyt) and Jacob (Driggers) played well and should make a push for playing time this year..
“Josh (Mask), Tobe (West), Thomas (Faulkenberry), Colt (Lindsey) and Stephen (Elgin) rounded out our B-team and gained valuable experience for this season.”
Marshall will participate in the Center Hill Camp this week.
“It should be even tougher with the likes of Olive Branch, Brighton, Covington and other tough public schools.
“Championship teams are not made between November and February. They are made between March and August, and we are well on our way.”
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