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Photo by Theresa Bolden Devore
Marshall's Evelyn Greer (4) is fouled as she goes up for a shot.

MA girls knock off Magnolia Heights

The Marshall Academy Lady Patriots got an early-season confidence builder Thursday night at home.

MA held off Magnolia Heights down the stretch and picked up a 50-41 win.

It was the Lady Patriots’ first win over the Lady Chiefs under head coach Jeremy Ervin, who is beginning his third season.

“We’d played them tight before but just couldn’t get over the hump,” he said. “This was another close game, and we pulled it out in the end.”

Kailyn Smith converted a three-point play to put Marshall up 9-5 at the 2:12 mark of the first quarter. The lead was 16-8 at the end of the first.

Some turnovers proved costly midway through the second as Magnolia Heights tied the game 19. In the last two minutes of the second, each team hit two three-pointers, MA’s coming from Karah Nicholson and Hallie Turner. At the half, the game was tied at 27.

The third quarter stayed tight. Kylie Gurley scored to put the Lady Pats up by four at the 2:31 mark. Marshall was on top 39-36 at the end of the third.

Gurley sank a key shot in the fourth, while Turner, Evelyn Greer and Smith nailed free throws. MA won by nine.

“We didn’t turn the ball over late, and we got some good quality shots,” Ervin said. “We did a good job of breaking the defense down, penetrating and finishing under the goal. And, of course, we hit some big free throws to close it out. We really kept our composure well — no panic.”

Gurley and Smith led the offense with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Greer and Turner scored eight each.

The win pushed the Lady Patriots to 3-1 on the season. They defeated Marvell Academy (Ark.) by 10 points on Tuesday of last week on the road.

Patriots The Marshall boys struggled out of the starting gate in their opening game of the season. They fell 70-39 to the Magnolia Heights. Practically all of the players on coach Craig Dailey’s team had just completed the football season with only a few sessions of basketball practice. MA got its first bucket, coming from Jordan Bonds, to trim the early deficit to 6-2. The Chiefs drilled a three late in the first quarter and went up 21-9. The visiting team stretched its lead in the second. It was 38-20 at halftime. The Patriots got to within 14 in the third on Rusty Bolden’s three from the deep corner. That was as close as they’d get the rest of the way. Walker Sanders was the only Patriot scoring in double digits. He had 10. Bolden followed with seven.

The Marshall Academy boys hosted 6A public school Oxford Saturday night and lost 76-37.

The Patriots managed to stay close in the early going, trailing 18-12 after one quarter. They were down 40-25 at intermission, and the Chargers outscored MA 25-6 in the third.

Sanders led the Patriots with 16 points. He scored seven in the opening quarter, and for the game, he was five of five from the free-throw stripe.

Bolden added eight points. Chase Rose scored a game-high 25 for Oxford. The Lady Patriots (3-1) and Patriots (0-2) were scheduled to visit Bayou Academy Monday and then host West Memphis Christian (Ark.) Tuesday. The boys host Delta Streets Thursday and then play in the Delta Duels at Mississippi Valley State University next Monday, Nov. 23, at 11:10 a.m. Versus Winston Academy. Both the varsity girls and boys go to Saltillo next Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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