Thursday, February 16, 2012
Pats win title; girls take third
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Patriots, dominant inside District 1-AA during the regular season, had no trouble winning the tournament title, too.
They crushed Indianola by 49 in the semi-finals and Carroll by 45 in the championship game last week.
“The district championship was big, especially for our seniors, but the boys viewed it the correct way,” said Craig Dailey, whose top-ranked team improved to 30-3. “It is just one hurdle in our race to Mississippi College (for overall). Next up is North State (this week at North Delta School in Batesville).”
The MA boys play the Central Hinds-Oak Hill winner Wednesday at 7:45 p.m.
The Lady Patriots finished third in the district tournament at Carrollton and upped their record to 15-19. They faced Prairie View Tuesday in the first round of North State.
“Fifteen wins – looking at our schedule about a month ago, I figured if we got to 15 wins, we would have really played well and put ourselves in a position for a shot at making it to state, and we have,” Dailey said.
The Patriots scored 31 points in the first quarter and eased to an 81-32 semi-final victory over Indianola Friday night.
Kevin Fitzpatrick was unstoppable. He scored 22.
“He has dominated our conference all year, and tonight was just more of the same,” Dailey said.
Others in double figures were Peyton Lewis with 17, Brad Bennett with 13 and Dakota Dailey with 10.
Randy Love had nine.
The Patriots were on top 57-22 at halftime.
In the district title game Saturday evening, the MA boys actually trailed by six with 3:02 left in the first quarter. But Brad Bennett’s baseline drive and bucket at the 1:33 mark put the Pats ahead 17-16 and they never trailed again. In fact, they almost broke the century mark, winning 94-49.
Marshall led 23-18 after the first period, 52-33 at the half and 74-41 after three.
Dailey was on target. He played “string music” to the tune of 28 points and was named the tournament’s most valuable player. Chase Ferrell had his “best game” of the season, according to his head coach, which included 18 points. Lewis, who Dailey said “got a fire in him in the second half,” scored 14. Fitzpatrick had 11. Ferrell and Fitzpatrick were also named to the all-tournament team.
The Lady Patriots, in a do-or-die game, sent the Carroll girls packing, 49-40, on Thursday in round one of the district tourney.
“A put-out game is always tough, and especially when you have tough matchup issues like we have with Carroll,” Dailey said.
Emma Elgin carried the load. She scored 30. She hit 17 of 19 free-throw attempts.
“When she can put up those type numbers, we have a good shot at a lot of folks,” he said.
Elizabeth Skelton tossed in 15 points and “played one of her best games,” Dailey said.
He also complimented his junior high girls (Wesleyann Ray, Kat Moore, Codie Robertson and Blake Martin) who “have been instrumental in everything we have been able to do this year.”
The Lady Pats gave top-seeded North Delta a stiff challenge in the early going Friday before falling 43-23.
Skelton’s two free throws gave MA a 6-4 lead with 3:46 left in the opening quarter.
At the end of the period, they were down 11-6 and that ballooned to 26-12 at halftime.
Skelton was the top scorer for Marshall. She had seven.
The Lady Patriots turned in what Dailey called their “best all-around game” Saturday and dropped Indianola 55-45 for third place.
They were up 9-4 following one quarter, 19-14 at the half and 35-28 after three.
Skelton blistered the nets for 18 points. Robertson and Elgin scored 13 and 10, respectively. Lane Cunningham added eight.
“Elizabeth played the best game I have seen her play since she has been with me,” Dailey said. “She leaves nothing in the tank at the end.”
He said Elgin, who was named to the all-tournament team, took what Indianola gave her and wrapped up a great tournament.
“Codie had her best game to date,” Dailey said. “Lane and Chelsey (Gilliam) both had huge minutes. They give me all they have.”
Next up is North State.
“The girls and I are going to pin our ears back and see how well we can finish,” he said. “Either way, we have accomplished a lot.”
He urges the Marshall family to support both teams this week in Batesville.
“We had a huge crowd for that long trip (to Carrollton) and I expect it to be twice as big at North,” Dailey said.
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