MCHS (14-7) actually held an 18-17 lead at the end of the first quarter, but saw their offense go into a funk after that point while Columbia (9-14) outscored them 36-18 over the final three periods to claim the 17-point victory.
After hitting 8-of-13 field goal attempts in the opening quarter, the Tigers shot a woeful 19 percent (8-of-42) the rest of the way to finish 16-of-55 from the floor overall, which included a 3-of-26 effort from three-point range. Marshall County committed only 10 turnovers, but attempted just four free throws in the contest, hitting one.
Although the Lions shot only 34 percent (18-of-53) from the field, they hit 7-of-22 attempts from beyond the arc and went to the foul line 19 times, making 10. Columbia also outrebounded MCHS 46-26, held a 17-8 edge on the offensive glass, and committed 13 turnovers.
"Columbia just did a good job against us defensively. We've had their number the last few years so there's no doubt they were motivated tonight. They came out and played with a lot of energy," said Marshall County coach Jason Tigert. "This game gives us some things that we can use to get better for the playoffs though."
Junior guard Kevin Peterson led the Tigers with nine points, while Chris Walker and Brock Spencer each added seven points. Cameron Bowers also tallied six points and nine rebounds, and Aaron Hobbs chipped in five points. Tim Hutton rounded out the scoring for MCHS with two points.
Columbia center Jarvis Webster proved to be a tough matchup for the Tigers, as the 6'4" senior poured in a game high 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds. Taylor Andrews and Chris Price followed Webster with nine points apiece, while Rhyheim McCissack and Dre Hall had seven and five points respectively with Hall grabbing 14 rebounds.
Marshall County jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead on a Spencer layup and a pair of baskets from Bowers before the Lions used a 9-4 spurt to tie the game at 10-10 midway through the first quarter.
The Tigers outscored Columbia 8-7 over the final three minutes of the first quarter with the help of a Peterson jumper and treys from Spencer and Walker to grab a 18-17 advantage, but the Lions put together a 13-4 run in the second period to take a 30-22 lead into halftime.
After Peterson converted a three-point play at the start of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 30-25, Columbia rattled off seven straight points to open up a 37-25 advantage with 5:27 left in the stanza.
MCHS narrowed the gap to 37-33 late in the third period thanks to a couple of Peterson layups and baskets from Spencer and Hutton, before the Lions tallied the next six points to make it 43-33 early in the fourth.
Following a three by Hobbs, which trimmed the deficit to 43-36, Columbia pulled away down the stretch and outscored Marshall County 10-0 over the final 5:16 to cap their 53-36 triumph.