Photo by Penny Lomenick
Erin Lomenick (left) goes to the floor with a Lady Chief as they battle for the basketball Thursday night.

Photos by Penny Lomenick
Wyle McMillen (33) is covered by a couple of Chiefs and passes off to a teammate.

Celebrating the win over Magnolia Heights are (from left) Jessica Deming, Alexis McGreger and Erin Lomenick.

MA girls get big road win

Going to Magnolia Heights and getting a win is never easy.

The Marshall Academy Lady Patriots were up to the challenge Thursday night. Coach Traci Rodgers’ team came through in the clutch and knocked off the Lady Chiefs 34-31.

“It’s a tough place to play, a tough environment,” said Rodgers, in her first season at head coach of the MA girls. “Any win at Magnolia Heights is a big win.”

Both offenses struggled to score.

The Lady Patriots were down 8-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Alexis McGreger opened the second with a three.

With 1:42 left until halftime, Julia Nicholson drilled a three to tie the game at 11.

Marshall was down 13-11 at intermission.

The Lady Patriots got their first lead of the night when McGreger hit another three at the 5:50 mark of the third. It was 16-15.

But Magnolia Heights bounced back to take a 21-18 advantage to the final quarter.

MA trailed by as many as six in the fourth but didn’t quit.

“For the most part, we were very composed for a tough game at the beginning of the season,” Rodgers said.

Erin Lomenick’s steal and lay-up knotted the score at 30 with 2:18 remaining. Then in the final two minutes, Nicholson nailed four clutch free throws, including two with seven seconds to go to put the winning margin at three points.

Nicholson finished with 16 points and McGreger had eight.

“I think the girls are starting to believe in each other and develop that chemistry that we need,” said Rodgers, whose team improved to 2-1 before the Thanks­giving break.

MA boys lose by nine

The Patriots, in their first game of the season, turned in a gutsy effort before falling 54-45 to the Chiefs.

“For the first time out of the gate in a hostile environment, I thought we handled ourselves with composure,” coach Sam Pearson said. “It’s not a scenario you would choose for your debut. It speaks highly of our kids.”

MA fell behind early but Tyler Bolden provided some spark. He hit a three and then drove to the hoop for back-toback buckets. The deficit was 13-11 at the end of the opening quarter.

Bolden’s spin move to the bucket tied the game at 13 to open the second.

Then the Chiefs snatched the momentum midway through the quarter and took a 30-22 advantage to the break.

In the third, the Patriots were down by as many as 14. At the end of the third, the deficit was 40-31.

The Chiefs went back up by 14 in the fourth, but MA didn’t die. Everette Jones hit a three to trim the deficit to 11 and the Patriots ended up losing by nine.

Bolden led the Pats in scoring with 14 points. Jones followed with 11.

“We withstood and played pretty well in spurts,” Pearson said. “We know the areas where we need work.

“The main thing is we stayed focused and stuck together.

“I’m excited about the make-up and the attitude of this team. I look forward to a lot of good things this season.”

The Lady Patriots and Patriots will host Greenville Christian next Tuesday, Nov. 28.  The varsity boys, junior high boys and junior high girls will host West Memphis November 30.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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