Fast start propels Tigers past Collinwood
On Thursday, the Marshall County Tigers (9-3) snapped a two-game losing streak by defeating the Collinwood Trojans 56-41 at the Richland Christmas Classic with the help of a dominant first quarter performance.
Marshall County appeared they were going to run the Trojans (8-6) out of the gym in the opening half and led by as many as 25 points in the second quarter before taking a 35-13 advantage into the break.
Collinwood managed to whittle the deficit to 50-39 with 3:02 left in the fourth period, but the Tigers regained their focus down the stretch and outscored the Trojans 6-2 the rest of the way to take home the 15-point victory.
"It was a tale of two halves. We had great energy early and built a big lead, but then we got comfortable and let them get back in it," said MCHS coach Jason Tigert. "We were fortunate to close out and find a way to get a win."
Marshall County got off to a red hot start, as they hit 11-of-17 shots and 6-of-11 three pointers in the first quarter. The Tigers eventually cooled down and shot 35 percent (12-of-34) over the final three periods to finish 23-of-51 from the floor overall, which included a 7-of-27 effort from beyond the arc, while committing 14 turnovers.
Hindered by a 3-of-16 performance from three-point range, Collinwood mustered just 13 field goals on 27 percent shooting. The Trojans did outrebound MCHS 28-25 and held a 12-8 edge on the offensive glass, but struggled to break Marshall County's full court press and committed 21 turnovers, including 11 in the first quarter alone.
Cameron Bowers and Brock Spencer both tallied 13 points to lead the Tigers, while Kevin Peterson, Chris Walker, and Corbin Clack added nine, eight, and six points respectively with Peterson recording seven rebounds, three steals, and two blocked shots. Barry Mayes also notched four points and six rebounds for MCHS and Aaron Hobbs chipped in three points.
Hunter Andrews and Tucker Roberson paced Collinwood with eight points apiece, while Jacob Daniel and Connor Martin each had six points.
Spencer helped set the tone for Marshall County by drilling three treys in the first three minutes of the contest to stake the Tigers to a 9-0 lead.
After Wesley Pigg scored on a layup to trim the deficit to 9-2, MCHS ripped off 13 straight points, highlighted by threes from Bowers, Clack, and Hobbs, to open up a 22-2 cushion with 1:54 left in the first quarter.
Martin hit a trey to make it 22-5 late in the first period, before Marshall County responded with an 8-0 run behind four points from Bowers to forge a 30-5 advantage with 6:10 remaining in the second quarter.
The Trojans tallied six straight points to narrow the gap to 30-11 midway through second period, but the Tigers stretched their lead to 35-11 thanks to a Peterson three-point play and a layup by Walker prior to taking a 35-13 advantage into the break.
MCHS pushed their lead to 37-13 early in the third quarter on a Peterson layup, before Collinwood outscored Marshall County 26-13 over the next 12:15 to slice the deficit to 50-39 midway through the fourth.
The Tigers, though, picked up their level of play during crunch time and notched the next six points on two Mayes free throws and a pair of layups by Bowers and Spencer to expand their lead 56-39 with 1:14 left en route to claiming the 56-41 victory.