Tigerettes dominate Dickson County

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Marshall County Tigerettes ran their record to 14-0 Saturday morning when they crushed the Dickson County Lady Cougars 63-36 in the first round of the Hickman County First Farmers & Merchants Christmas Invitational.

Having defeated Dickson County 61-44 earlier in the season, MCHS had their way with the Lady Cougars (3-5) again on Saturday. The Tigerettes raced out to a 35-19 lead in the first half before opening up a thirty-one-point cushion in the fourth quarter en route to their twenty-eighth straight victory.

Despite coming off an eight-day layoff, MCHS head coach Boyd West was not surprised with how well his team played against Dickson County.

"We had really good practices on Monday and Tuesday and had a great practice yesterday. I think that goes back to our senior leadership. They've been doing this for four years now and know how to prepare properly over Christmas break."

While the Lady Cougars slowed down Marshall County's potent low post game with the help of a 2-3 zone, the Tigerette guards picked up the slack and accounted for 50 of MCHS' 63 points.

Reserve shooting guard Artavia Bryant knocked down seven three-pointers and scored a career high 23 points to lead Marshall County's offensive attack, while point guard Kanesha McLean tallied 19 points, five rebounds, five assists, and one steal.

"We've said all year that there would come a time where a team would try to shut down our inside game. It was gratifying to see our perimeter players come through when we needed them. Kanesha and Artavia really stepped up for us," said West.

Tigerette center Lauren March was held to a season low eight points by Dickson County, but was a force on the defensive end and recorded seven steals and four blocked shots to go along with three rebounds.

LaRhonda O'Neal (six points), Marina Harwell (two points), Whitney Byrd (two points), Keyra Allen (two points), and Andraya Tears (one point) rounded out the scoring for Marshall County with O'Neal also registering four rebounds and four steals.

MCHS shot only 35 percent from the field overall (21-60), but finished with 10 three-pointers and outscored Dickson County 11-1 at the foul line. The Tigerettes also committed just six turnovers and held a 14-9 edge on the offensive glass despite being out rebounded 33-25 by the Lady Cougars.

Although Dickson County held a noticeable height advantage, the Lady Cougars were overwhelmed by Marshall County's superior quickness and athleticism. Employing their ferocious full court press, the Tigerettes limited Dickson County to just 15 field goals on 37 percent shooting and notched 22 steals while forcing 29 Lady Cougar turnovers.

Shooting guard Rebecca Smithson paced Dickson County with 17 points and center Jordan Jennings had eight points.

Smithson scored the first two points of the game on a layup, but Bryant came off the bench and buried three treys to fuel an 18-2 MCHS run and help give Marshall County an 18-4 lead with 2:31 left in the first quarter, while McLean added seven points during that span.

After Dickson County trimmed the deficit to 21-11 early in the second period, the Tigerettes responded with a 14-5 spurt behind seven points from McLean and four points from March to forge a 35-16 advantage late in the stanza prior to taking a sixteen-point lead into the break.

Marshall County then turned the game into a rout in the third by outscoring the Lady Cougars 18-6 in the quarter on the strength of four three-pointers by Bryant and an O'Neal trey to open up a 53-25 advantage.

Dickson County trimmed the deficit to 53-30 early in the fourth, but MCHS rattled off eight straight points to extend their lead to 61-30 with 2:51 left before coasting to the twenty-seven-point win.