The Marshall County High School Tigerettes opened up the defense of their state title with an impressive 46-41 Hall of Fame game win at AAA Brentwood High School Tuesday night, but it may have come at a large price when senior stand-out Lauren March was injured on the last play of the game, diving for a loose ball.
March was in visible pain as the horn sounded and had to be escorted off the court after the game. She was in obvious pain coming out the locker room, barely able to put any weight on her right ankle.
"I think she (March) will be ok," said MCHS head coach Boyd West after the game. "She doesn't seem to be in as much pain as when she first did it. We will have to wait and see how she looks later."
The Tigerettes started slow and ice cold from field, missing their first seven field goal attempts in the quarter, falling behind 6-0.
Two March free throws got the Lewisburg ladies on the board and two more by LaRhonda O'Neal made it 6-4.
Jakerra Simmons hit one of two from the line to cut the lead to one as the Tigerette defense picked up, holding Brentwood scoreless the rest of the quarter.
Trailing by just one at 6-5 going into the second quarter was impressive for a squad that had zero field goals in the first period.
Trailing 9-5, Simmons finally got one to drop to cut the lead to two points and Addricka O'Neal tied the game on a lay-up in the paint.
Brentwood's big girl in the paint, Kyla Kersteter, who finished with a game high 25 points scored five straight and Rachel Worsham hit a bucket to open up a seven point, 16-9 Lady Bruin lead.
March hit five throws in the next three minutes to keep the Tigerettes close with 1:27 to play in the half.
With the score 19-14 in favor of Brentwood, the defense picked up again for MCHS, causing havoc for the Lady Bruins bringing the ball up.
Three consecutive Brentwood turnovers and a steal by Addricka O'Neal that led to a great three-point play by LaRhonda O'Neal's twisting move down the lane tied the game at 19-19.
NeNe McLean's rebound and follow of her own shot with just one tick on the halftime clock gave the Tigerettes their first lead of the game, 21-19 at the break.
The game went back and forth the entire third period and with score tied 31-31 with 1:47 left, LaRhonda O'Neal drove the lane and floated in a nice bucket and was fouled. The junior guard nailed the free throw for a 34-31 Marshall County lead at the end of three quarters.
March and Artavia Bryant scored the first two buckets of the fourth period, extending the Tigerette lead to 38-31.
Brentwood scored, but the Tigerettes would eventually stretch the lead to nine points at 42-33 before the Lady Bruins mounted a late charge that fell short to extend Marshall County's winning streak to 15 games, dating back to Jan. 25th.
March led the Tigerettes with 14 points, Simmons scored 10, NeNe McLean put in 9, LaRhonda O'Neal had a nice first game in the starting lineup with 8 points, and Bryant scored the one basket.