Thursday, January 20, 2011
Marshall teams 5-0 in district
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy basketball teams moved to the front of the District 1-AA basketball races last week.
The Patriots and Lady Patriots swept West Memphis Christian, Indianola Academy and North Delta School to go to 5-0 in district play.
The MA girls could not pull away from the scrappy Lady Knights and escaped Arkansas with a 34-32 win.
West Memphis tied the game with 38 seconds left. Twenty seconds later Emma Elgin of Marshall drove into the lane and hit the huge shot.
“Emma came through with the game winner – a clutch play,” coach Craig Dailey said.
The Lady Patriots’ biggest lead of the night was seven.
They were up 10-9 after one quarter, 18-16 at the half and 25-22 following three periods.
Callie Clanton led MA with 16 points. She was nine of 13 from the free-throw line. Kelsey Shaw had 10 points.
“Callie had a solid offensive and defensive game,” he said.
The Marshall boys dug themselves an early hole but turned in up a notch in the final three quarters for a 73-54 win.
“We were slow out of the gate, but once we got rolling we played extremely well,” Dailey said.
The Pats fell behind 9-0. Taylor Maurey got the team’s first points at the 5:59 mark of the first period. MA was down 18-12 at the end of the first.
Brad Bennett caught fire in the second quarter. His back-to-back threes knotted the game at 18 at the 6:25 mark.
Fifteen seconds later Kevin Fitzpatrick scored and the Patriots had their first lead. They never trailed again.
Fitzpatrick added a pair of steals and lay-ups late in the first half, and Peyton Lewis drilled a three. The lead was 35-26 at half-time.
The visitors continued to pull away in the second half. In the last minute of the third, Fitzpatrick went coast to coast for a pair of baskets and Maurey fired in a three. The score was 60-40 and MA went on to win by 19 points.
Fitzpatrick was the top scorer with 17. Others in double digits were Bennett with 16, Lewis with 12 and Maurey with 10.
The Patriots hit nine threes.
“Brad and Kevin led us offensively,” he said. “They have both steadily improved and have a chance to do some special things for us down the stretch.”
The defenses dominated Friday night when the Lady Patriots hosted Indianola Academy. MA survived 26-25.
Clanton scored more than half of the Lady Pats’ points. She had 14.
“It was another big game for Callie and a tremendous defensive effort by our entire group,” Dailey said. “Holding them to 25 was special.
“It would have been nice to have thrown it in the ocean occasionally.”
The Lady Patriots led 6-2 after one quarter and 13-11 at the half.
Clanton opened the third quarter with a pair of threes.
The margin was 21-16 after three.
MA went up 26-22 with 19 seconds left. Indianola cut it to one and missed a last-second shot.
The Marshall boys clobbered the Colonels 66-20 in the nightcap.
They blistered the nets in the opening period for a 23-5 lead. Mitch Gholson hit three threes in the second period. At the half, it was 49-13.
The clock ran non-stop in the second half and MA won by 46.
Gholson and Matt Rappa scored 11 each. Eleven Patriots scored.
“Mitch and Matt took advantage of some extra playing time and played well,” Dailey said.
The Lady Patriots’ defense continued to shine Saturday night as they knocked off North Delta 38-33 at home.
“It was a tremendous defensive effort,” Dailey said. “Lauralee (Fant) had several key hustle plays in all three wins last week.
“The girls have put themselves in excellent position as we venture into the stretch run of district.”
Clanton and Shaw shared top scoring honors with 17 each.
“Callie and Kelsey put us on their backs on the offensive end and really came through in a big-time situation for us,” he said.
Shaw nailed back-to-back threes to put the MA girls up 11-8 after one quarter. They led 19-18 at halftime, thanks to Clanton’s drive and bucket with seven seconds left.
The home team fell behind 27-26 at the end of the third, but Shaw and Clanton drilled consecutive threes and Marshall snatched the lead back at 34-30 with 3:08 to go in the game.
Shaw’s two free throws at the 1:12 mark put the MA girls up by eight, and they won by five.
The late game saw the Patriots trail the bulk of the way before pulling out a 46-43 win over the Green Wave in overtime.
“What a game,” Dailey said. “If my heart had not been jumping out of my chest most of the night, I might have enjoyed it.
“They (North Delta) are a well-coached, athletic group, and it’s going to be a dogfight the rest of the way.”
Points were hard to come by for both teams. Marshall trailed by as many as five in the first half and was down 20-18 at the break.
The Pats were down by six a couple of times in the third quarter and were on the short end of a 30-25 score at the end of the period.
Maurey hit a three with 4:47 to go in the fourth to knot the game at 36. The game went to OT tied at 37.
The teams swapped leads in the extra period. The biggest shot came with 30 seconds left. Lewis’ three put MA up 44-43. Then after two missed free throws by North Delta, Fitzpatrick grabbed the rebound and found an all-alone Chase Ferrell for a lay-up to ice the win.
Ferrell had 13 for MA. Fitzpatrick and Maurey scored 12 and 10, respectively.
“Chase, Kevin and Taylor had strong offensive games for us,” Dailey said. “Peyton’s clutch three got us over the hump and Kevin’s huge defensive board and push assist to Chase sealed the deal.
“It was nice three days of work by all my kids. We just have to keep pushing.”
Marshall teams went to Tunica Tuesday for non-district games. Then district play resumes with Indianola Academy away Friday, Kirk at home Saturday and North Delta away next Monday, Jan. 24.
The boys are 18-5 overall and the girls 15-10.
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