Thursday, January 12, 2012
Marshall teams sweep Magnolia Heights, Carroll
By BARRY BURLESON
Marshall Academy basketball teams enjoyed some sweet sweeps Thursday and Friday nights.
Then Saturday, the MA boys knocked off another public school to improve to 18-3 on the season.
The Lady Patriots, in a physical contest, earned the big win, 41-26, over the rival Lady Chiefs.
“Our girls and Magnolia Heights’ girls always seem to end up in a ‘tussle’ and this one was no different,” coach Craig Dailey said. “We make sure and try to focus on the basketball when we play them and the girls have done an excellent job of that this year as we swept them for another year.”
The game was tied at 7 after one quarter. MA was up 16-12 at the half and 27-22 following three.
The lead ballooned to nine when Emma Elgin hit a three at the 5:08 mark of the fourth. Then it was stretched to 14 when Wesleyann Ray drilled a long-range shot.
Elgin, who Dailey said “played one of her best games of her career and showed a little extra fight,” finished with 22 points.
“Elizabeth (Skelton) and Lane (Cunningham) had big baskets throughout,” he said. “Chelsey (Gilliam) and Wesleyann stuck their main scorers.”
The Marshall boys were slow out of the starting gate but went on to tomahawk the Chiefs 79-49.
The Patriots trailed midway through the first but a couple of Dakota Dailey threes and a Matt Rappa bucket helped MA take a 23-18 lead after one.
When Brad Bennett and Andy Burleson hit back-to-back shots late in the first half, the lead was suddenly 20. It was 45-28 at intermission.
“We came out with a different level of defensive intensity,” Coach Dailey said. “That first half was fun to watch. We just have to cut out some of the ‘ticky-tack’ fouls.
“Dakota was on fire in the first quarter.”
The second half was all Marshall. The margin was 24 points after three periods.
“I’m proud of our students’ and fans’ support of this team,” he said. “I hope they realize how much a difference that support can be to our kids. The MA sixth man will be huge down the stretch.”
He praised the defense of Chase Ferrell, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Randy Love, who tag-teamed “their star all night and finally wore him down in the second half.” He also said Rappa had “one of his better games” on both ends of the floor.
Thirteen of 15 Patriots scored. Dailey was the only one in double digits with 20. Fitzpatrick and Randy Love had eight each.
“Man, we have a lot of weapons,” Dailey said.
MA vs. Carroll
Stout defense and a 20-point game from Skelton propelled the Lady Pats to a 47-34 District 1-AA victory over Carroll at home Friday.
Elgin’s three put MA up 24-15 at the half.
“Our third quarter defensive effort, holding them to just four points, was the difference,” Dailey said.
Marshall was on top 34-19 after three, thanks to Skelton’s drive to the hoop.
“Elizabeth had her best game of the year,” he said. “They really had no answer.”
Blake Martin, who Dailey said “lit them up the second half,” finished with 10.
It was the Lady Pats’ third straight win. They’re 10-12 overall and 2-2 in the district.
In the boys game, Carroll hung around for a little while but the rout was on in the second half as Marshall won 92-50.
“Carroll likes to run, and we aren’t opposed to that if it will help us win,” Dailey said. “One of our loyal fans told me he thought I was going to ‘bust the clock.’ It was a fun game to watch.”
MA led 25-20 after a quarter and 52-38 at the half. After three, it was 76-48.
Eleven Patriots scored as they improved to 4-0 in district play. In double figures were Dailey with 23, Brad Bennett with 17, Fitzpatrick with 15 and Peyton Lewis with 11. Aaron McAlexander had nine.
Dailey likes the team unity with two new members, Randy Love and Antonio Love, coming on board.
“Randy and Antonio are going to be tremendous additions for us as we make our final push to the playoffs,” he said.
“Our practices have become like state title games and the kids have truly sold out – with what is best for the team being our only consideration. It makes me extremely proud of these young men. It is a testament to the character their parents have instilled in them and the togetherness that our ‘We Believe’ program fosters.”
The Class AA private school Patriots faced Class 2A public school Williams Sullivan, Saturday in the Domino’s Shoot-Out at Hickory Flat and won 57-54.
“That game was definitely worth the price of admission,” Dailey said. “That was the quickest bunch we have ever competed against. It was a fun battle.”
It was a back-and-forth one, too.
The Pats led by as many as five in the first period and were up 15-14 after one.
They fell behind by five with 2:31 to go in the second quarter and were down 31-30 at the break.
MA got its biggest lead with six seconds left in the third when Dailey dished an assist to Fitzpatrick. It was 45-38.
The lead swapped hands a couple of times in the fourth before Peyton Lewis nailed two free throws with 10 ticks remaining to seal it.
“Williams Sullivan was talented, and games like this one will help us reach our goals come tournament time,” Dailey said.
Lewis, who he said was “the man on this night,” scored 17. Fitzpatrick and Bennett had 11 each.
“Kevin was a beast,” he said, “and Brad had a tremendous game.”
MA teams hosted Oak Hill Tuesday. They go to Indianola Academy Friday and North Delta Saturday.
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