Tigerettes earn crucial road win
The Marshall County Tigerettes (8-13, 7-4) earned a huge 60-58 road win Friday night in Hohenwald, thanks to an early first quarter 19-7 blitzkrieg that put the Lewis County Lady Panthers (9-7, 6-5) in a hole they would never completely dig out of.
"We were really clicking there at the start," said MCHS head coach David Junkins. "We have started the last couple of games kind of hot and the girls knew what the game plan was and believed in it."
With their sixth win in a row, the Tigerettes moved all the way up to claim third place after Hickman County (14-9, 7-4) lost to first place Page 50-47 in Centerville.
Junkins said, "The only thing that matters is that 7-4 record. We made this game a must win and now we just have to keep climbing."
MCHS holds the tie-breaker over Hickman County because of their 36-35 win over the Lady Bulldogs on Jan. 6 in Lewisburg.
Jameka Braden skied to win the opening tip and the ball went right into the hands of Morgan Moyers, who raced in for an uncontested lay-up.
Lewis County turned the ball over and Mecia Reed made them pay when she drained a long three-pointer to make it a 5-0 ballgame.
Mallory Floyd immediately got the three points back for Lewis County, but the Tigerettes ripped off fourteen consecutive points after the Floyd trey to open up a 19-3 lead.
Reed had five more points in the spurt, including another three-bomb and Junkins said about the freshman's performance, "Mecia has really been working hard on her three-point shots and when she hit two early, that really helped us."
Moyers also had five more points in the run with a three-bomb and a steal and score to go along with baskets by Destiny Moore and Braden.
The Lady Panthers would mount a comeback, scoring the last five points of the first quarter and the first four points of the second quarter to cut the Tigerettes' lead to eight at 19-11.
With 3:57 remaining in the first half, Lewis County's Leanne Amacher scored to make it 23-21.
Braden scored on a jumper after the Amacher basket, and after a Lady Panther miscue, Braden put in a tough rebound and put-back at the other end to quell the Lewis County surge and the Tigerettes would go on to lead 31-25 at the end of the first half.
Haylee Trull, who led all scorers in the ballgame with 21 points, drilled a three-bomb to begin the second half and Floyd went downtown moments later to tie the contest at 31.
In the first meeting between the two squads on Dec. 6 in Lewisburg, the Tigerettes held a first half lead, only to see it slip away in a two-point loss, but not this time as Marshall County dug in and outscored Lewis County 20-11 the remainder of the period to lead 51-42 after three quarters.
"That is a sign of our maturity, we would like to have that one back, but we can't," said Junkins. "So, we knew we had to come in here and take control and we did."
The Tigerettes grew up by leaps and bounds in the fourth quarter as the Lady Panthers would not go away, cutting into the Tigerettes' lead all the way to four points at 56-52 on a Trull basket with 1:41 remaining in the contest.
Lewis County got the ball back, but a blocked shot by Braden, followed by a basket at the other end from the sophomore staved off the Lady Cats again.
Marissa Lyttle, who had a monster night in the post for the Tigerettes fouled out at the other end and Amacher, went to the free throw line for two attempts.
After sinking the first, the second attempt rattled off the rim and Hayden Rawdon put it back in, making it a 58-55 ballgame with less than a minute to play.
The Tigerettes coughed up the ball, but Lewis County gave it right back on a turnover before Junkins called timeout with 39 seconds left.
After the stoppage, Moore drilled both ends of a crucial one-and-one after being fouled with 30.3 ticks left.
Lewis County would not fold as Allie Henderson hit a three-pointer with 8.7 seconds remaining, but MCHS held on for the win and will host Summit (3-14,3-8) on Tuesday before celebrating Homecoming next Friday versus Page (13-3, 8-1).
Braden led the Tigerettes with 17 points, Moyers finished with 14, Reed a dozen, Moore had nine, Lyttle six, and Megan Sanders rounded out the MCHS scoring with two points.