Thursday, February 21, 2013
MA wins fourth straight North
By BARRY BURLESON
It was a familiar celebration for Marshall Academy Saturday night.
The Patriots claimed their fourth consecutive North Half championship by routing the host Leake Rebels 80-58.
“Winning our fourth straight North State AA blue (trophy) is special,” coach Craig Dailey said. “Runs like this do not come along often. I am extremely proud of where we have the ‘We Believe’ program.
“Four sets of fine young men and great teams have ended North State week with a blue trophy.”
Next up is the state tournament. The Pats are the two-time defending state champs.
“Now we move on to Canton to try for a three-peat and the right to advance for a shot at the one that’s got away (overall),” he said.
Leake kept it close for a little while Saturday night in the north title game. MA led 20-14 after one quarter.
The Patriots outscored the Rebels 19-7 in the last 5:20 of the first half to surge ahead by 22 (45-23). Dakota Dailey hit six straight free throws. Antonio Love scored twice on assists from Vince Hoyt and Peyton Lewis. Then Dailey drilled back-to-back threes to end the second quarter.
The score was 68-40 following three periods.
Randy Love’s dunk off a teammate’s miss with 1:24 left put an exclamation point on the 22-point victory.
Dailey scored a game-high 27 – five threes and 12 of 12 from the free-throw line. Others in double digits were Lewis with 22, Antonio Love with 14 and Randy Love with 10.
Dailey, Lewis, the Love brothers and Brad Bennett were named all-tournament.
“Few times have I had all five starters be recognized as all-tournament,” Coach Dailey said. “That just shows the team this group has become.”
He also praised the major contributions of Vince Hoyt and Devonte Smith.
The Patriots tipped off North Half competition with a 68-32 rout of Manchester Academy Thursday.
The lead was 50-12 at halftime.
Lewis was the top point producer with 22. Randy Love added 13. Scoring nine each were Smith and Dailey.
Smith had a dunk in the game, which Coach Dailey said “set the tone for the entire tournament.”
MA was 13 of 19 from the free-throw stripe.
Marshall struggled a bit early before blistering Canton Academy 62-32 Friday night.
The Pats were in front 10-6 after one quarter but stretched it to 26-9 at intermission.
Lewis, who finished with 20 points, outscored the entire Canton team in the third. He had 15 in the quarter to the Panthers’ 13.
Other leading scorers were Dailey with 13 and Randy Love with 10.
The Patriots (31-3) face Bowling Green Wednesday night at 7:45 at Canton Academy. With a win, they will face the Brookhaven-Canton winner Friday at 7:15 p.m. in the semi-finals. Consolation and championship games are Saturday at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. On the other side of the bracket are Central Private, Oak Hill, Leake and Simpson.
“We have another big time ‘row to hoe,’ but we wouldn’t want it any other way,” Dailey said. “I tell the boys all the time they don’t give these rings away and we again will definitely earn it if we are putting medallions on Saturday night.
“I hope the entire MA faithful will come out and support these young men. I would like to invite anyone else who loves basketball and seeing young men sell out for one another, to come down to Canton and see this group of Patriots play. You will not be disappointed.”
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