Tigerettes top Montgomery Central
The Marshall County Tigerettes picked up a much needed win on Monday, as they defeated the Montgomery Central Lady Indians 53-43 at the East Literature Holiday Classic in Nashville to snap a three-game losing streak.
After trailing for much of the first two quarters, Marshall County (4-9) rallied to tie the game at 17-17 at the half before catching fire offensively in the third and racing out to a 37-26 lead midway through the period. Montgomery Central (4-5) battled back and sliced the deficit to 42-41 with 5:25 left in the fourth quarter, but the Tigerettes kept their poise down the stretch and outscored the Lady Indians 11-2 the rest of the way to pull away for the 10-point victory.
Marshall County struggled against Montgomery Central's 2-3 zone early on, as they hit just 6-of-28 shots and 2-of-15 attempts from three-point range in the first half. The Tigerettes, though, found the range in the second half and made 12-of-25 field goal attempts over the final two quarters, highlighted by a 4-of-6 effort from beyond the arc, to finish 18-of-53 from the floor overall, while forcing the Lady Indians to play man-to-man defense the last 10 minutes of the contest. Marshall County also outrebounded Montgomery Central 30-20 and held a 12-3 edge on the offensive boards.
Senior shooting guard Marina Harwell nailed six treys, including four in the third period alone, and finished with a game high 21 points to lead three Tigerette players in double figures.
"We had been working on a new offense and we decided to use it in the third quarter, which freed Marina up. We'll definitely continue to use it in the future," said Marshall County coach Dave Junkins. "We knew Montgomery Central was a 2-3 zone team and we had to get rebounds because we would be taking a lot of threes today."
Alyssa Reynolds tallied 13 points, nine rebounds, and a blocked shot as well, while Jameka Braden notched 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Whitney Byrd added seven points and nine rebounds to round out the scoring for the Tigerettes.
The Lady Indians, conversely shot a respectable 43 percent from the field (16-of-37) and made 4-of-10 three-point attempts, but were bothered by Marshall County's full court press at times and committed 20 turnovers, compared to 15 miscues for the Tigerettes.
Forward Megan Dunn and shooting guard Sammy Jo Perry paced Montgomery Central with 17 and 13 points respectively.
Marshall County held a 5-1 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to a layup and a three by Harwell, but failed to notch a field goal for the next 6:47 while the Lady Indians went on a 10-1 run to pull ahead 11-6.
The two teams then began to trade baskets and the Tigerettes still trailed 17-12 late in the second period, before Harwell drilled a trey from the top of the key and Reynolds hit two free throws to send the game into the half tied at 17-17.
In the third, Marshall County came out of the locker room with guns blazing and put together a 20-9 run on the strength of four Harwell threes and four points from Braden to forge a 37-26 lead with 2:35 left in the quarter.
After Montgomery Central narrowed the gap to 38-34 late in the third, Reynolds scored on a layup in the closing seconds of the period, before Braden converted two foul shots early in the fourth to stake the Tigerettes to a 42-36 advantage.
The Lady Indians tallied the next five points to cut the deficit to 42-41, but Marshall County responded with an 8-0 spurt behind four points from Braden to stretch their lead to 50-41 with 1:38 remaining.
Following a layup by Dunn, the Tigerettes held Montgomery Central scoreless over the final 1:28, while recording the final three points of the game on a Harwell free throw and a layup by Braden to cap their 53-43 win.