Thursday, February 14, 2013
Patriots stun 5A Center Hill
By BARRY BURLESON
The Marshall Academy Patriots wrapped up the regular season February 5 with a huge road win.
MA avenged an earlier home loss to Center Hill by beating the Mustangs 90-87.
Coach Craig Dailey had lots of praise for his team’s effort – a small, Class AA private school knocking off a big, Class 5A public school.
“What a game,” he said. “Goodness, they are hard to guard. We have had two barn-burners (a one-point loss and a three-point win) with this group and that is exactly why we scheduled these games. It will really help us as we venture into post-season play and have to find a way to win in a tough environment against this level of athletes.”
The Patriots were on fire out of the starting gate – going up 16-0 and then 29-12 at the end of the first quarter.
MA led 49-37 at the halfway point, but Center Hill dominated the third and knotted the game at 64.
The Pats fell behind in the fourth but bounced back to pull out the thrilling victory.
Dakota (Dailey) “put us on his shoulders at times,” said his dad, the coach. He blistered the nets for 37 points.
“I am really excited about the evolution he has made this season as a game changer and leader,” Coach Dailey said.
Other top scorers for MA were Peyton Lewis with 22, Brad Bennett with 15 and Antonio Love with nine.
“Peyton has truly become a man over our three years together,” Dailey said. “I see him asserting himself in ways, that at one time, I would have never dreamed of.”
“Brad put out defensive fire after defensive fire all night long while producing well offensively. His late three-pointer was huge. We were on the ropes before he drilled it.”
Other players turned in strong showings in the win.
“Antonio (Love) has turned the corner and with hopefully three weeks to go, I believe he will only get better and better each night out.
“Randy (Love), Vince (Hoyt), and Devonte (Smith) all had huge minutes and contributed greatly.”
The MA girls lost 54-30 to the Center Hill Lady Mustangs, ranked second in Class 5A.
“They’re second in the state for a reason,” Coach Dailey said. “I wish them well in the playoffs.”
The Lady Patriots were down 31-10 at the half.
Blake Martin was Marshall’s leading scorer with 15.
MA teams played in the District 1-AA Tournament last weekend (see separate story).
Coach Dailey urges fans to support the Lady Patriots and Patriots in the post-season. He said the girls have a shot at making their first state tournament in a while, while the boys are going after their third straight state championship.
“All our parents, fans, patrons, please come out in full force and let’s enjoy these young people battling to see how good this ‘We Believe’ contingent can be,” he said.
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