Photo by Penny Lomenick
Showing the joy of a North State championship as they lift the trophy are Julia Nicholson, Erin Burleson, Alexis McGreger, Karina Mays (15) and Erin Lomenick.
Photo by Penny Lomenick
Peyton Stephenson (10) of MA goes to the floor versus Manchester trying to gain possession of the ball.
Best in North
It’s tough to beat a team four times in a season. For the Marshall Academy Lady Patriots, defense was the key.
MA continued its dominance over Carroll Academy with a 34-31 win Saturday in Benton for the North AA championship.
“Our girls believe in the defense we decided to run the past two or three times we’ve played Carroll, and they were confident,” coach Traci Rodgers said. “That makes all the difference in stopping Carroll’s offense.
“Erin (Lomenick) and Alexis (McGreger) did a great job on Carroll’s best player (Caroline Mumme), and Julia (Nicholson) protected the rim well.
“Offensively, each girl contributed by being aggressive and taking each opportunity that presented itself.”
It was the second consecutive north half title for the Lady Patriots, the first under Rodgers.
MA went up 7-1 early on Jessica Deming’s three from the corner and McGreger closed the first quarter with a three to make it 10-4.
Marshall generated just four points in the second quarter but held the Lady Rebels to three. It was 14-7 at the break.
Kaylan Parks got the offense going in the third with a pair of free throws. Deming, Nicholson, Lomenick and McGreger followed with buckets as the Lady Pats went up by as many as 11.
The lead increased to 12 in the fourth when Parks grabbed a rebound and passed to Nicholson, who scored.
Carroll staged a late rally, but Parks had a key bucket with 25 seconds left and MA held on to win by three.
Scoring in double digits were Nicholson with 12 and Deming with 10.
Named all-tournament were Nicholson, McGreger, Deming and Parks.
The Lady Patriots survived the semi-finals Friday, knocking off Manchester Academy 36-34.
The game was tied at 14 at halftime and at 25 following three periods.
Nicholson scored seven of her game-high 19 points in the fourth to lead the Lady Pats to the two-point victory.
Coach Rodgers’ squad pulled away from Tri-County in the second half Tuesday of last week and won 37-25.
MA was down 6-5 at the end of the first quarter and trailed 10-8 with 5:10 left in the second.
A pair of threes from McGreger and one by Deming shifted the momentum as Marshall was on top 21-12 at halftime.
The lead was 28-14 at the end of the third.
In the fourth, the Lady Pats led by as many as 19 before winning by 12.
Nicholson and McGreger had 14 points each.
The Lady Patriots (21-6) move on to the State AA Tournament this week at Brookhaven Academy. The first opponent is Glenbrook Wednesday. With a win, they advance to the final two rounds Friday and Saturday at Brookhaven.