Tigers survive scare from Fairview
Coming off a disheartening loss to Giles County in the semifinals the previous evening, the Marshall County Tigers (18-9) salvaged a third place finish in the District 12-AA tournament by defeating the Fairview Yellow Jackets 59-54 in overtime on Saturday night.
MCHS had won both regular season encounters between the two teams by double digits, but Fairview (11-17) had Marshall County on the ropes in Saturday's contest and held a 48-44 lead with 3:35 left in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers, however, stepped up their game down the stretch and tied the contest at 49-49 by the end of regulation before outscoring the Yellow Jackets 10-5 in overtime to escape with the five-point victory.
"You definitely want to see your team play well in close games. We've won almost all of the close games that we've played this year and I think that's a testament to this team's character," said MCHS coach Jason Tigert. "This win should give us a little momentum going into the Region. We'll give the guys the next two days off and get back to work on Tuesday."
After shooting only 35 percent (20-of-57) from the field during regulation, the Tigers hit 4-of-6 shots in overtime to finish 24-of-63 from the floor overall, which included a 8-of-27 effort from three-point range.
Brock Spencer came up big for Marshall County during crunch time and scored 10 of his team high 16 points in the final 6:45 of the contest. Kevin Peterson followed Spencer with 13 points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots, while Corbin Clack notched eight points. Chris Walker and Cameron Bowers tallied six points apiece as well and Barry Mayes notched five points and seven assists. Aaron Hobbs and Tim Hutton rounded out the scoring for MCHS with four and three points respectively.
Although Fairview outscored Marshall County 9-3 at the foul line, they knocked down just 3-of-13 attempts from beyond the arc en route to finishing with 21 field goals on 38 percent shooting.
The Yellow Jackets outrebounded the Tigers 38-32 and held an 11-9 edge on the offensive glass, but were hurt by 20 turnovers, compared to only 14 miscues by MCHS.
Deondre Moore paced three Fairview players in double figures with 20 points, while Josh Lampley and Garrett Wall added 16 and 10 points respectively.
Marshall County got off to a sluggish start and trailed 14-7 late in the first quarter before going on an 8-2 run, highlighted by a three from Spencer, to narrow the gap to 16-15 early in the second period.
The Yellow Jackets outscored MCHS 10-4 over the next five minutes to open up a 26-19 advantage late in the half, but Clack converted a three-point play and hit a trey in the waning moments of the stanza to slice the deficit to 26-25 at the break.
In the third, the Tigers heated up offensively and put together a 19-11 run with the help of a Spencer trey and five points apiece from Mayes and Peterson to pull ahead 44-37 with :23 left in the quarter.
Fairview rattled off 11 straight points to take a 48-44 lead midway through the fourth period, but Spencer buried a three from the right wing and Walker scored on an offensive put back to give MCHS a 49-48 advantage with 2:21 remaining in the stanza.
After Lampley hit one-of-two free throws to tie the game at 49-49, neither team scored in the last 2:04 of regulation before Spencer and Peterson knocked down consecutive threes at the start of overtime to stake MCHS to a 55-49 lead.
The Yellow Jackets narrowed the gap to 55-52 with 1:26 left on a trey by Michael Bengle, but Spencer sandwiched two layups around a bank shot by Lampley to seal the Tigers 59-54 victory.