Thursday, January 10, 2013
Patriots ease by Kirk, Oak Hill
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Patriots, ranked number one in Class AA, put two easy wins under their belts last week to go to 16-2 overall.
The Lady Patriots fell to the same two opponents, Kirk and Oak Hill, and saw their record drop to 13-9.
MA vs. Kirk
The boys’ matchup Friday night in Grenada proved to be no contest. MA stormed to an 18-2 lead after one quarter and rolled over the Raiders 59-19.
The margin was 35-6 at halftime.
“We jumped on them quickly and I really thought they just lay down,” said Craig Dailey, head coach of the Patriots.
Nine Marshall players scored. Hitting for double digits were Randy Love with 14 and Brad Bennett with 12. Adding eight each were Peyton Lewis and Vince Hoyt.
The Lady Patriots, despite a 20-point performance from Elizabeth Skelton, fell 64-39 to the Lady Raiders.
MA was down 31-23 at the half and trailed by 14 entering the fourth.
Blake Martin scored 10 for Marshall.
“We got taken to the woodshed – simple as that,” Coach Dailey said. “I knew it would be tough there and they just hit us in the mouth and we freaked out. They destroyed us in the press, just major mental breakdowns, but that’s my fault and we will go back to the film room and the practice floor and get it fixed before it matters.”
MA vs. Oak Hill
The Raiders came to Marshall Academy Saturday and tried to slow the pace of the game. It worked to the tune of an early 4-2 lead for the visitors.
“The boys adjusted and forced them to speed up,” Coach Dailey said.
The end result was a 70-36 victory for MA.
Lewis’ putback and Bennett’s drive for two gave the Pats a 16-6 lead at the 1:18 mark of the first quarter and forced an Oak Hill timeout.
Dakota Dailey drilled a three from the corner to put MA up 19-10 after one period. Bennett opened the second quarter with a three and by halftime the advantage was 42-22.
Marshall coasted to the 34-point win.
The Patriots hit 12 threes – four each by Lewis and Dailey, three by Bennett and one by Randy Love. Bennett finished with a game-high 23 points. Lewis and Dailey scored 18 and 15, respectively. Randy Love had eight.
“Randy has really come on in the last few games,” Dailey said. “He has focused on the little parts of his game and his entire game has blossomed. He has the chance to be a huge difference-maker for us down the stretch.
“Antonio (Love) has battled extremely well and is beginning to find a niche in our system. His post presence on the defensive end will be extremely valuable down the stretch.
“I am so proud of Vince (Hoyt). He has stuck with it and battled. He has earned a starting role at this time but more importantly ‘a place at the table.’ His basketball knowledge, his heart and his intestinal fortitude, plus his offensive/defensive board work and his shooting skills, make us a better team.”
The Lady Patriots battled hard versus Oak Hill, a team it had upset earlier in the season, but lost this time around, 55-37.
“Unlike the Kirk game, I thought our minds were right,” Dailey said. “We just couldn’t hit a shot or make a play when we had to make it to keep us in the game.
“Oak Hill is good and I knew they would be wanting to get us back for beating them at their place. This is one of their best teams and it really shows how well we played at their place.”
MA’s only lead last Saturday, 5-4, came at the 2:40 mark of the first quarter on Skelton’s drive and bucket. Oak Hill led 10-9 at the end of the opening quarter and stretched it to 27-15 at intermission.
The Lady Raiders continued to increase the margin in the second half until Kara Novarese gave the Lady Pats some spark. Near the end of the third, she hit a three, made a steal and drove for a two-point basket. Then she added two more threes in the fourth. Hailey McMinn drilled a three prior to the game’s final buzzer.
Novarese finished with 18 points, 14 in the second half. Skelton had 10, seven in the first half.
MA played Kirk and Oak Hill without one of its players, Kat Moore.
“That hurt us really badly,” Dailey said. “I’m proud of all her teammates and their battling in her absence.”
Marshall teams hosted Magnolia Heights Tuesday. In a schedule addition, the boys will play Jackson Prep Thursday at 7:45 p.m. in the Jackson Academy Tournament. MA squads host the Memphis, Tenn., Night Hawks Friday and Heritage Academy Saturday. Next Monday, Jan. 14, they will play Central Private at Canton. The Central Private boys upset defending overall champion Jackson Prep last week.
“A thank you”
Coach Dailey was hospitalized the weekend of December 28-30, 2012, and missed the Patriots’ game versus Aberdeen in the tournament at Immanuel Christian.
“I would like to thank everyone for all the kind words, prayers and heartfelt thoughts for my family and me during this health scare,” he said. “MA has for some time felt like family, but at no time more than now.
“In every negative, a positive will appear, and in this case, it was the opportunity for one of my former players, Andy Burleson, to step up and take the reigns for me. He did a heck of a job and not just in that game, but behind the scenes and at practice. I am so proud of him and his evolution as a basketball coach and mind. He is a great talent, who will eventually be an even greater talent. He reminds me so much of a skinny young coach I once knew.”
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