Another District 10-AA foe bit the dust Friday night, as the Marshall County Tigerettes (17-0, 5-0 District) defeated the Loretto Lady Mustangs 62-43 in Lewisburg to grab sole possession of first place in the league standings.
Loretto (9-7) came into the contest with a 4-0 record in District play, but the Tigerettes quickly erased any thoughts of a possible upset by bolting out to a 14-point first quarter lead. MCHS then opened up a 52-31 cushion early in the fourth period before coasting to their thirty-first straight victory.
Bolstered by an 8 of 12 shooting performance in the first quarter, the Tigerettes shot 48 percent from the field overall (24-50) and committed just eight turnovers.
"I thought we played pretty well tonight. We got off to a really fast start and got on them early," said Marshall County head coach Boyd West. "We were able to force some turnovers and get some easy baskets from that."
Although Loretto shot a respectable 44 percent from the field (19-43) and out rebounded Marshall County 27-17, the Lady Mustangs were bothered by the Tigerettes' superior quickness and committed 22 turnovers.
"Our defense wasn't quite as good as we would like, but considering we had to get up at 4 o'clock in the morning for Channel 4 News it wasn't bad. I'll take a 19-point win anytime," said West.
Senior point guard Kanesha McLean turned in a stellar all around performance and led three MCHS players in double figures. McLean poured in 21 points on 9 of 13 shooting and dished out eight assists to go along with three steals, two rebounds, and two blocked shots.
"Kanesha executed what we wanted. They were playing a box-and-one on Lauren (March) and Kanesha did exactly what we wanted in order to break that defense," said West. "She's the quarterback of the team."
March also tallied 18 points, six rebounds, and four steals for the Tigerettes, while power forward Jakerra Simmons added 12 points, three rebounds, and one blocked shot.
LaRhonda O'Neal (five points), Artavia Bryant (four points), and Andraya Tears (two points) rounded out the scoring for Marshall County.
Forward Kinsley Williams paced Loretto with 17 points, while Abby Laws and Heather Dankin had 10 and eight points respectively.
The Tigerettes appeared they might turn the game into a rout early on, as they raced out to a 12-0 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to four points apiece from McLean and Simmons.
After the Lady Mustangs trimmed the deficit to 12-4, Marshall County closed the first period with an 8-2 spurt behind four points from McLean and a bucket by Simmons to forge a 20-6 advantage.
Loretto narrowed the gap to 24-15 midway through the second quarter, but McLean, March, and O'Neal each buried three-pointers to stretch MCHS' lead to 33-17 with 2:21 left in the stanza before Marshall County took a 35-21 advantage into halftime.
The Tigerettes then steadily increased their lead in the third and outscored the Lady Mustangs 15-10 in the quarter on the strength of seven points from March to make it 50-31 prior to opening up a 52-31 advantage early in the fourth on a basket by Bryant.
Loretto pulled within 56-41 midway through the fourth but March scored on an offensive put back and McLean hit a driving layup to stretch Marshall County's lead to 60-41 with 1:33 remaining before MCHS coasted to the 62-43 victory.