Thursday, January 19, 2012
Patriots improve to 21-3
By BARRY BURLESON
Back in early December the Marshall Academy varsity boys struggled to beat Oak Hill by six – not the second time around.
The Patriots tipped off a 3-0 week with a 70-24 rout of the Raiders January 10 at home.
“The first time they caught us just out of football, and we looked like a baby catfish on the hook,” coach Craig Dailey said. “I think they landed a Great White Shark this round.”
MA turned up the full-court defensive pressure early and led 29-5 after one period.
“Buzz-saw would be the best description,” Dailey said. “That first quarter was something to see. I like the fact there was very little falloff when my second group entered the game.”
The lead was 45-16 at the half when Vince Hoyt drilled a three just before the buzzer.
Because of the margin, the clock ran non-stop most of the second half. The Pats won by 46.
Twelve Patriots scored. Dakota Dailey led with 11. Brad Bennett had 10 and Peyton Lewis nine.
“Dakota, Brad and Peyton were clicking on all cylinders,” Dailey said. “When they are all on, they are a deadly threesome.
“Matt (Rappa), Andy (Burleson) and Randy (Love) gave us some good quality minutes off the bench – very little fall off from the starters.”
The defense was as stout as ever.
“Chase (Ferrell) has established himself as my best ever ‘stopper’ and that was one of his best outings. I love to watch that kid play defense. We feed off his energy and ball pressure.
“Kevin (Fitzpatrick) looked like he was on a ‘pogo stick.’ Every time I looked up he was swatting one from the help-side. The block where he pinned the ball above the square was a back-breaker for them.”
The Lady Patriots put up a strong fight against the highly-ranked Lady Raiders before falling 45-32.
“Oak Hill girls have been ranked near the top in AA all year and beat Leake a few weeks ago,” Dailey said. “The girls battled them ‘tooth and nail.’ I couldn’t be prouder of my young ladies’ effort and heart. They are steadily getting better and will be a tough out come tournament time.”
Marshall snatched a 13-12 lead with 3:53 to go in the second quarter when Lane Cunningham hit a short jump shot. But Oak Hill took a 22-19 advantage to the intermission.
The Lady Pats stayed within striking distance most of the third. They were down 30-27 when Emma Elgin sank a three at the 1:20 mark.
Back-to-back turnovers and an Oak Hill three before the quarter ended put the visitors in control at 37-27.
Elgin and Cunningham were the top scorers with 12 and 10, respectively.
“Lane played the best game of her career,” Dailey said. “She posted hard, helped handle the ball some and just drove her man down and scored once. That is huge for our development down the stretch.
“Emma had another solid game. Their defense intensity and pressure doesn’t allow for too many easy shots. She took advantage of her opportunities.
“Elizabeth (Skelton) handled their pressure well and hit some big shots (seven points). Chelsey (Gilliam) stuck them in the post defensively and gave us a lot of hustle plays.”
MA vs. Indianola
Marshall squads swept Indianola Academy on the road Friday night in District 1-AA competition – the girls winning by three and the boys by 24.
The Lady Pats led by 15 late in the first half on a Skelton three and by the same margin midway through the third when Cunningham hit a short shot.
But they couldn’t put Indianola away.
The Lady Colonels tied the game at 34 with 1:30 left. Skelton then hit six of 10 free-throw tries down the stretch to seal a 40-37 win.
Elgin lit up the scoreboard with 20. Skelton added 14.
“Emma was on fire,” he said. “Elizabeth had a solid game. Lane and Chelsey are playing their roles well. Wesleyann (Ray) had a huge defensive first half.
“This was a big district win for the girls,” Dailey said.
The MA boys sputtered a bit out of the starting gate but were in command 37-16 at the half. They won 60-36.
Dailey was pleased with the road win in district play but at the same time knew his squad did not play up to its potential.
“I told them after the game – ‘Don’t win by 20-plus and look like you lost,” he said.
“We got saddled with fouls and couldn’t get away.
“I played a ton of folks in quality minutes and probably screwed with the chemistry a little.”
Bennett and Randy Love sank 13 points each. Dailey had 10. Aaron McAlexander added seven.
MA vs. North Delta
The Marshall boys upped their district record to 6-0 Saturday with a 73-31 victory in Batesville over North Delta. They’re 21-3 overall.
The win was “on ice” after the first quarter. The Patriots led 29-7. The lead was bigger at the half – 49-15.
Top scorers were Fitzpatrick with 13, Bennett with 12, Ferrell and Randy Love with 10 each, and Burleson and Dailey with eight apiece.
The gritty Lady Patriots looked like they would pull the upset, leading 17-14 at the half and 27-19 after three quarters, but the Lady Green Wave turned it up big-time in the fourth, scoring 32 in the quarter. MA lost 51-40.
Elgin and Skelton powered the MA offense. They had 17 and 10, rspectively.
The Lady Patiots are 11-14 overall and 3-3 in the district.
MA teams host Indianoala Academy Friday and go to Kirk Academy Saturday for district games.
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