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Zach Sorrell of MA scores two points versus Fayette Academy.

MA splits with Fayette at Forum

Coach JeremyErvin said his Marshall Academy Patriots “rose to the occasion” at the FedEx Forum.

Playing on the home floor of the Memphis Grizzlies and the University of Memphis, the MA boys knocked off Fayette Academy 63-55 Friday, Dec. 21, 2018.

“It was a big game, not only because of the opponent and the venue, but because I was anxious to see how my guys would respond after playing terribly at Oak Hill (December

14) and getting upset,” Ervin said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better response. But excellence is a habit, not a singular act, so we have to buckle down and do our very best to make playing like this a habit.”

Everette Jones poured in 22 points to lead the Patriots. Phillip Parks followed with 15, and Zach Sorrell added 12.

Ervin also praised the play of his point guard, Sam Greer.

“Fayette plays tough, pressure, man-to-man defense and Sam stepped up to the challenge and ran his team like a seasoned veteran,” he said. “We got big-time play from Everette and Phillip, too. When they have good games, we have good games.

“Everette was able to get a few key buckets in crucial situations, just off breaking down the defense and being an athlete. We couldn’t do without Phillip’s junkyard dog style of play. He plays tough; he plays smart; his motor never stops going. He’s undersized in the post but I wouldn’t trade him.

“Zach came up big, too. His play on the block gave Fayette another inside presence to worry about, which took pressure off our guards. If he continues to play like that, we’ll be a tough team to beat.

“It was a really good win for us. Fayette has a talented, wellcoached group of kids, and that school has gotten the respect of plenty of MAIS opponents in the past.”

Lady Patriots

The Marshall Academy girls put up a strong challenge early before falling 55-24 to the Lady Vikings.

“I’ve always thought Fayette was a tough, wellcoached team, and they confirmed that,” Ervin said. “Their size, quickness and shooting ability proved to be too much for us in the end.

“We were in the game in the first half. We were taking care of the ball, executing the offense and making shots.”

Then the Lady Patriots saw a different Fayette team in the second half.

“They turned the pressure up a notch and forced us into making too many turnovers,” Ervin said. “Defensively, they played well, but the transition game is really what won the game for them. When they get on a roll, they run the floor really well.

“Transition defense is an aspect of our game that we have to get better at if we want to continue to improve going into 2019.”

Kaylan Parks was MA’s top scorer with 14 points.

The Lady Patriots and Patriots played in the Denny Brewer Classic on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week. See the separate story on the Thursday games.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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