Tigers top Page on Homecoming
On Friday night, the Marshall County Tigers assured themselves of a home game in the first round of the District 12-AA tournament by defeating Page 62-45 on Homecoming at Dottie Kelso Gymnasium to complete the season sweep of the Patriots.
Owning a six-game win streak over Page coming into Friday's contest, the Tigers (14-6, 10-3 District) had trouble shaking the Patriots (5-13, 5-6 District) early before using a late second quarter spurt to take a 27-20 lead into the break.
MCHS then opened up some breathing room in the second half and forged a 50-31 advantage early in the fourth period en route to notching their fourth straight victory.
"We've got to find a way to play four periods. I was very happy with the second half, but we have to play for four periods when we get to the playoffs," said Marshall County coach Jason Tigert. "Once we got the lead to double digits, I thought we did a good job of protecting it and answering any run they made in the second half."
Aided by an 11-of-21 shooting performance over the final two quarters, the Tigers shot 47 percent (22-of-47) from the field overall against the Patriots 3-2 zone, which included a 9-of-26 effort from three-point range, while knocking down 9-of-15 free throws.
Page did outrebound MCHS 28-19, but Marshall County offset that by committing only 11 turnovers.
Although the Patriots finished with 20 field goals on 44 percent shooting and hit 5-of-15 attempts from beyond the arc, they committed 16 turnovers and went to the foul line only five times, hitting none.
Guards Kevin Peterson and Aaron Hobbs both turned in strong performances for the Tigers, as Peterson poured in a game high 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting to go along with four assists, while Hobbs hit 7-of-11 shots and finished with 18 points.
Cameron Bowers tallied seven points and six rebounds as well, and Brock Spencer and Corbin Clack each added six points. Tim Hutton rounded out the scoring for Marshall County with four points, while Chris Walker recorded eight assists and five rebounds.
Murphy Brazell paced the Patriots with 12 points, and Hunter Bennefield and Michael Norby notched 11 points apiece.
The Tigers held a 13-8 lead midway through the first quarter thanks to seven points from Hobbs and treys from Peterson and Walker, but Page outscored MCHS 8-3 over the next 4:50 to tie the game at 16-16 early in the second.
After Marshall County grabbed a 21-18 advantage with the help of a three from Spencer and a Bowers layup, Bennefield hit a layup to narrow the gap to 21-20 with 2:51 left in the second quarter.
The Tigers then tallied the final six points of the half on baskets by Hobbs, Peterson, and Bowers to stretch their lead to 27-20, before opening the third period with a 7-2 spurt, highlighted by a Hobbs trey, to make it 34-22.
Page trimmed the deficit to 34-27 midway through the third quarter, but MCHS put together a 16-4 run behind 11 points from Peterson to open up a 50-31 cushion with 6:00 left in the fourth.
The Patriots used a 9-4 spurt to close the gap to 54-40 with 3:07 left before Marshall County outscored Page 8-5 the rest of the way on the strength of four points from Clack to wrap up their 62-45 win.