Thursday, February 20, 2014
Lady Pats second in North tourney
By BARRY BURLESON
Coach Craig Dailey said he “couldn’t ask for a lot more” out of his Marshall Academy Lady Patriots.
They gave third-ranked Delta Academy all it could handle before falling 32-27 in the North A Tournament championship game Saturday on the MA campus.
“We had our chances, if a shot or two had fallen,” Dailey said. “I’m really proud of this group – for what they’ve been able to accomplish.”
And, as he said, the Lady Pats (14-19) are “still ticking.”
They move on to the Class A State Tournament this week at Rebul Academy. They faced Lamar Christian Tuesday in the first round.
In the North A finals, the MA girls grabbed the early lead in a defensive war.
Alexis McGreger cashed in a pass from Sam Wilkins and the Lady Patriots led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Raiders’ first points did not come until the 6:38 mark of the second period.
Blake Martin’s three broke a 7-7 tie with 3:54 left until halftime. And her two free throws gave Marshall a 12-10 advantage at the break.
Delta scored the first six points of the second half to snatch a 16-12 lead.
The Lady Pats got back to within one, 16-15, on Carrie Graham’s bucket, but that was as close it as they’d get.
The turnover bug bit the MA girls and they trailed 21-15 after three frames.
They fell behind by as many as 10 in the fourth, but Audrey Poole’s three cut it to three with 12 seconds left.
Then Delta broke the MA pressure and scored a final bucket to win by five.
Martin led MA with 13.
“We just couldn’t get going in the second half,” Dailey said. “Delta has a lot of tradition, and they did a good job defensively against us.”
The Lady Pats reached the North A title game with wins over Deer Creek School and Briarfield Academy.
Martin scored 19 points in a 50-40 first-round victory over Deer Creek Thursday afternoon in Holly Springs.
Graham and Elizabeth Skelton added nine each.
MA was up 25-20 at halftime and stretched the lead to 37-27 following three quarters.
The Lady Pats hit 15 of 26 free-throw attempts.
The Marshall girls got off to a slow start in the semi-finals versus Briarfield but turned it up a notch in the second half and won 48-29.
With the Lady Pats up by 10 at intermission, Skelton opened the second half with with a three. They outscored the Lady Rebels 11-2 in the third and led 35-16.
Wesleyann Ray’s putback made it 38-18 early in the fourth and all the Lady Pats got the opportunity to see action down the stretch.
Skelton and McGreger were in double digits, scoring 13 and 11, respectively.
Martin, Skelton and Graham were named to the all-tournament team.
With a win over Lamar, the Marshall girls will face Carroll Thursday. The tournament continues Friday and Saturday in Learned.
It’s the Lady Patriots’ first trip to the state tournament since 2010.
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