Photo by Theresa Bolden DevoreJeremiah Jones (11) of Marshall is surrounded by Raiders as he gets off a shot.
MA teams sweep Oak Hill
Senior Night at Marshall Academy was a winning night.
Both the Lady Patriots and Patriots knocked off District 1-AA rival Oak Hill Academy.
The MA girls picked up their first conference win of the season, 55-41 over the Lady Raiders, and ended a nine-game losing streak.
“I can’t describe how happy the win made me,” coach Jeremy Ervin said. “We’ve been on the verge of breakthrough for awhile now. I know the girls are both thrilled and relieved that it happened on Senior Night.”
Marshall trailed 8-3 four minutes into the game. But Peyton Stephenson and Kaylon Parks cashed in shots and the deficit was sliced to 11-9 at the end of the first quarter.
At the 6:26 mark of the second, Stephenson’s three gave the Lady Patriots their first lead, 16-15. They kept the momentum and when Erin Lomenick hit a long-range shot to end the first half, they were up 30-23.
The lead ballooned to double digits in the third. It was 47-33 at the end of the period, and the final margin was 14.
Parks was the top gun with 26 points. Stephenson was close behind with 22, including five three-pointers. Both are seniors.
“There are really no words to adequately describe what KK (Kaylan) means to us,” Ervin said. “Everyone we play knows she’s our go-to girl, and that she’s left-hand dominant. Yet nobody has been able to keep her from scoring 20 or more on a nightly basis.
“Peyton didn’t want to lose on Senior Night and you could tell by the way she shot the ball. She was on fire. I’ve been saying if we can get 10 to 15 points from a second player, we’ll be hard to handle. Peyton did that and more.”
He also complimented the contributions of seniors Erin Lomenick and Mary Neely Jones.
“Erin is valuable all the time but especially in close games,” Ervin said. “She shoots the ball well, doesn’t make careless plays and doesn’t turn the ball over. She’s the type of player that makes coaching easy. Her biggest asset is her ability to lead the team. She becomes a coach on the floor.
“Mary Neely got some key rebounds and blocks and made it tough for Oak Hill to score in the paint. She played well in her last regular season home game in Frank Swords Gymnasium.”
The win avenged a 13-point loss back on December 14 at Oak Hill.
“This was a great win for momentum,” he said. “We’ve kept the faith through the season. We know that we can play with anyone.”
The Lady Patriots (5-18) were scheduled to face Oak Hill again Tuesday of this week at home in the opening round of the District 1-AA Tournament. The winner advances to the semi-finals Thursday at 6:45 p.m.
The Marshall Academy boys turned in a strong fourth quarter and downed Oak Hill 53-45, also avenging an earlier loss to the Raiders, by eight points. They finished atop the district at 7-1.
“Anytime you avenge a loss, it feels good,” Ervin said, “but to do it on Senior Night and locking up the number one seed in the process, it feels great.”
The Patriots were down 8-7 after one quarter.
Jeremiah Jones hit back-toback shots, one a three, midway through the second and they moved in front, 16-13.
The game was deadlocked at 20 at halftime.
Philip Parks started the third with a steal and lay-up and ended it with a bucket. MA led 38-35.
Zach Sorrell scored to start the third, off an assist from Everette Jones. A couple of minutes later Drayton Potts hit a big three to put Marshall up by seven (45-38).
Sam Greer made the margin eight with 43 seconds left, and MA was then able to melt the clock.
Scoring in double figures were Parks with 16, Sorrell with 15 and J. Jones with 14.
“Oak Hill is a very wellcoached, fundamentally-sound team,” Ervin said. “Their zone makes it extremely hard to score in the paint, which has been our bread and butter.
“Thankfully we were able to knock shots down from distance and get out in transition to get some buckets as well.
“I can’t say enough about the season my guys have had.”
The Patriots, with a 19-3 record, received a first-round bye in the District Tournament, which will be played on their home court. They will meet the Central Holmes-Winona Christian winner Thursday at 8 p.m.