Thursday, February 27, 2014
Marshall teams fall in state quarter-finals
By BARRY BURLESON
The basketball season ended in the Class A State Tournament quarter-finals for both Marshall Academy teams.
The MA boys let an 18-point lead slip away in the second half and fell 76-73 to Claiborne Academy Thursday night at Rebul Academy in Learned.
The Patriots had won three straight state championships, all in Class AA.
“It was disappointing,” head coach Craig Dailey said, “but Claiborne made the shots and made the plays, and we didn’t.”
One Patriot and one Rebel did the bulk of the scoring.
For MA, Dakota Dailey had 49 points. For Claiborne, Trey Washington had 40.
“At the end of the day, we were limited in what we could do,” Coach Dailey said.
He added that Andrew Herrington played “one of his best games of the season.”
MA was up 23-9 after one quarter and 43-26 at halftime. But at the end of the third, Claiborne had sliced its deficit to 57-52 and completed the rally in the fourth.
The Rebels shot 65 percent in the second half, including five threes from Washington.
The Pats experienced some struggles at the free-throw stripe.
“Mainly, it was our inability to stop anybody,” Dailey said. “This team never really found its identity.
“It would have been a huge hurdle to win the next two (after Claiborne). The competition was tough, but I wish we would have had a shot.”
Cenla won the boys Class A state championship. West Memphis Christian finished second and Trinity third.
Marshall finished the season 15-18, having to forfeit several games after a ruling declared Australian Johnny Crnogorac ineligible.
He praised his seniors for their contributions – Jacob Driggers, Zach Mahan, Herrington, Dalton Pritchard and Crnogorac.
“Jacob really exemplified our ‘We Believe’ program. Even though he got limited playing time, he was a huge part of what we accomplished the past few years,” Dailey said.
“Dalton and Johnny brought a lot of leadership,” Dailey said. “Andrew and Zach were new this year to the program and good additions; both worked hard.”
The MA girls, after a 12-point win in round one of the state tournament, lost 53-36 to Carroll Academy in the quarter-finals last Thursday night.
It was the Lady Pats’ first trip to the state tournament since 2010.
“It was a good year,” Dailey said. “We accomplished a lot.”
The Marshall girls turned back Lamar Christian 52-40 on the second day of tournament play Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Three players scored in double digits – Blake Martin with 18, Elizabeth Skelton with 17 and Carrie Graham with 13.
Then against the Lady Rebels in the quarter-finals, they just couldn’t get over the hump. They trailed 9-3 after one quarter, 21-11 at the half and 35-29 following three quarters, before losing by 17.
“We had plenty of opportunities,” Coach Dailey said. “We just couldn’t make the plays we needed to make.”
Skelton had 12 points, Carrie Graham nine and Wesleyann Ray eight.
Seniors are Graham, Skelton and Chook Offner, an Australian player who was ruled ineligible late in the season.
“The way Carrie improved from last year to this year is a testament to her work ethic and time,” Dailey said. “Elizabeth has been with me since she was knee-high and she was dedicated to this program and contributed greatly. Chook, obviously, was a talented player but more importantly she was a wonderful teammate.”
The Lady Pats finished with a 15-20 record, also largely due to the forfeits.
Claiborne won the girls state crown. The Veritas School was second and Hebron third.
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