The Marshall County Tigerettes broke out of their recent offensive slump Tuesday, hammering District rival Loretto, 61-26, on homecoming night to complete a season sweep of the Lady Mustangs.
Marshall County had averaged just 36.5 points per game in its last four outings, but was clicking on all cylinders against the Lady Mustangs. After roaring out to a 39-17 lead at halftime, the Tigerettes (20-4, 11-1 District) opened up a 38-point cushion by the end of the third quarter before cruising to the victory.
MCHS head coach David Steely credited improved focus as the reason for Tuesday night's offensive resurgence.
"We've got experienced players that have played in big games. We just had our mindset right," said Steely. "We've talked about playing with focus all the time the last two days. The girls know it's that time of the season."
Bolstered by a 17-of-33 shooting performance in the first half, the Tigerettes shot 45 percent from the field overall (25-55), which included an 8-of-21 effort from three-point range. Marshall County's defensive pressure, meanwhile, was unrelenting. MCHS recorded 20 steals and limited Loretto to just 10 field goals on 38 percent shooting. The Lady Mustangs finished with more turnovers (27) than shot attempts (26).
Center Lauren March turned in a strong all-around performance and led four Marshall County players in double figures, as she finished with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocked shots. Shooting guard Jessica McQueen tallied 12 points on four three-pointers for the Tigerettes. Point guard McKenna Moffett registered 11 points, eight assists, and four steals. Power forward Jakerra Simmons also added 10 points, seven steals, and four rebounds for MCHS.
Rounding out the scoring for the Tigerettes, Kanesha McLean had six points; Lauren Reeves, three; Andreya Tears, two; and Artavia Bryant, two.
Heather Dunkin and Logan Dooley paced Loretto with 10 and eight points respectively. Kinsley Williams and Abby Laws scored three points apiece for the Lady Mustangs (13-10, 7-5 District), and Tia Moore had two points.
The Tigerettes took control of the contest from the start, as they raced out to an 11-2 lead midway through the first quarter with the help of four points from March and a McQueen trey. After Williams knocked down a three-pointer to trim the deficit to 11-5, Marshall County responded with an 11-2 spurt behind six points from Simmons and five points from March to open up a 22-7 advantage early in the second period.
Loretto closed the gap to 24-13 with 3:34 left in the stanza, but MCHS ended the half with a 15-4 run, highlighted by a pair of treys from McQueen and a Moffett three-pointer, to take a 22-point lead into the break.
The Tigerettes then turned the game into a rout in the third, outscoring the Lady Mustangs 16-2 in the quarter to forge a 57-19 advantage. Moffett buried a couple of treys to lead Marshall County's third-period onslaught, while McQueen and Reeves knocked down one three-pointer apiece. Loretto then outscored MCHS 7-4 in the fourth quarter for the 61-26 final.