Tigerettes finish in third place

Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber Marshall County's Jakerra Simmons goes up for a shot against Cheatham County.

After suffering just their second loss of the season in the semifinals of the Bulldog Christmas Classic, the Marshall County Tigerettes (14-2) quickly got back to their winning ways when they defeated the Cheatham County Lady Cubs 43-35 Saturday at Smyrna High School to claim third place in the tournament.

Although Cheatham County (12-5) made the final score respectable, the Tigerettes controlled the game from start to finish. They jumped out to an 11-point advantage in the first quarter and never led by less than seven points in the second half.

"We played pretty well," said Marshall County head coach David Steely. "We were pretty tired today because I asked a lot of them last night against Smyrna. It was our third game in three days and I was happy with the way that we competed. I thought it was a good win. Cheatham County is a solid team."

Tigerette center Lauren March turned in a strong performance inside, scoring 19 points on eight of 11 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds to go along with a pair of steals and a block. Power forward Jakerra Simmons tallied seven points, six rebounds, and two assists. Guards McKenna Moffett and Danika Hopkins added six points apiece, with Moffett also dishing out seven assists. Jessica McQueen and Lauren Reeves finished with four and one point respectively to round out the scoring for the Tigerettes.

With March and Simmons controlling the low post, Marshall County shot 47 percent from the field overall (15-32) to offset an uncharacteristically poor 11 of 24 effort from the free throw line.

Cheatham County had trouble dealing with the Tigerettes' full-court press and stingy-man-to man defense, as the Lady Cubs finished with just 11 field goals on 32 percent shooting, including a six-of-23 performance through the first three quarters of play. Point guard Megan Hunter paced Cheatham County with 15 points. Forwards Shelby Marvel and Amber Duncan followed Hunter with 10 and six points respectively.

MCHS appeared they might rout the Lady Cubs early on, as they vaulted out to a 13-2 lead less than five and a half minutes into the contest on the strength of seven points from March and a McQueen three-pointer. After Marvel and Hunter each hit three free throws to cut the deficit to 13-8 early in the second period, the Tigerettes responded with an 8-2 spurt behind five points from March and a lay up from Simmons to open up a 21-10 advantage with 2:32 left in the half.

Cheatham Co. managed to close the gap to 23-16 by halftime, but Marshall Co. tightened the screws defensively in the third and held the Lady Cubs to just two field goals in the quarter while outscoring them 8-4 during that span to build a 31-20 lead. Hopkins quickly extended MCHS' lead early in the fourth period when she canned a three-pointer from the left wing and knocked down a pull up jumper to give Marshall County a 36-20 cushion with 6:10 left to play. Despite being outscored 15-7 the rest of the way, the Tigerettes were never seriously threatened during the final six minutes of the contest and coasted home for the eight-point victory.