Photo by Theresa Bolden Devore
Accepting the trophy and celebrating the championship are Tyler Bolden, Everette Jones (back), Wyle McMillen and Zach Sorrell.
Photo by Theresa Bolden Devore
Marshall Academy player Jeremiah Jones (11) goes in for a lay-up as a Tri-County players flies by.
Photos by Penny Lomenick and Theresa Bolden Devore
Kaylan Parks reaches for a loose basketball versus Carroll.
Everette Jones is fouled as he goes to the goal in the north playoff game against Greenville Christian.
Best in North
Patience definitely paid off for the Marshall Academy Patriots Saturday.
Executing their game plan almost to perfection, MA claimed the North AA championship by stunning St. Joseph 46-43.
It was the second straight north half crown for the Patriots.
“We wanted to be patient on offense – no quick shots,” coach Sam Pearson said.
“A game plan may not ever be perfect, but this one was about as close to perfect as you can get.
“We were focused and just kept plugging away and gave ourselves a chance to win it in the end, which we did.”
The Patriots were down 26-21 at halftime in the title game at Benton and fell behind by as many as seven in the third. They trailed 36-32 at the end of the third.
Everette Jones got MA to within one (41-40) with 4:49 left and then Tyler Bolden stole St. Joe’s in-bounds pass.
The Patriots, deliberate on offense, ran about three minutes off the clock before Jones drove to the goal and scored with 1:29 left. MA led 42-41.
The Fighting Irish answered with a bucket to go back on top.
With 12 seconds left, Jones was fouled. He went to the line and calmly nailed two free thows to put the Pats up 44-43.
St. Joe missed a shot on the other end. Marshall’s Javion Smith grabbed the rebound and was fouled. With the pressure on, he sank his free throws, too, and MA celebrated the three-point victory.
Jones carried the load offensively as he finished with 25 points.
Named to the all-tournament team were Jones, Eli Pearson, Bolden and Wyle McMillen.
On Friday night, the Patriots were strong out of the starting gate and downed Tri-County 61-47.
MA led 13-8 after one quarter and then outscored the Rebels 22-8 in the second.
Stifling defense was crucial in the victory, as Jones and company held Tri-County’s top gun, Zach Willis, to nine points.
Top point-producers for the Patriots were Jones with 21 and Bolden with 13.
The MA boys had the tall task in round one of beating Greenville Christian a third time this season, and they were up to the task. They turned back the Saints 37-24.
The Patriots controlled the tempo in this one, too. They were down 4-3 after one quarter, and the contest was tied at nine at halftime.
Pearson and Bolden drilled back-to-back threes in the third as Marshall went up 19-13. Then Pearson’s long-range shot from the corner made it 22-16 at the end of the period.
Pearson opened the fourth with another three. McMillen scored off an assist from Jones with 3:08 left to give MA a 29-20 advantage.
Bolden, Pearson and Drayton Potts hit free throws down the stretch as the Pats won by 13.
Leading scorers were Bolden with 13 and Pearson with 11.
The Patriots (21-6) advance to the State AA Tournament at Brookhaven Academy. They opened versus Prairie View Wednesday. With a win, the semi-finals are Thursday and finals Friday.