Tigers hold off Page, make it 4 straight
The Marshall County Tigers extended their current winning streak to four games on Tuesday night by defeating District 12-AA rival Page 72-63 at home.
Having won the last eight meetings against the Patriots, the Tigers (5-2, 4-1 District) held a slender 29-27 lead at halftime prior to opening up a 47-35 advantage late in the third quarter.
Marshall County then had to withstand repeated rally attempts by Page in the fourth quarter that saw the Patriots (4-5, 3-1 District) slice the deficit to three points on four different occasions before eventually claiming the nine-point victory.
"Page is a really good team. They were undefeated in District play and had played some tough games outside the District. I'm proud of the guys for getting this win because Page came into this game with some confidence," said MCHS coach Adrian Wilson.
Aided by a 15-of-24 shooting performance in the second half, the Tigers shot 49 percent (27-of-55) from the field overall, which included a 7-of-22 effort from three-point range, while committing only 12 turnovers and dishing out 18 assists as a team.
Marshall County also outrebounded the Patriots 34-28 and held a 12-10 edge on the offensive glass.
"We executed well on offense and hurt them with some backdoor cuts. My only problem was that when we pushed the lead out we seemed to relax and let them come back," said Wilson. "We want to force the action and don't want to be passive. Even though we got some easy transition baskets tonight, I don't think we pushed the ball as well as we can and have some better basketball in us."
Junior guard Aaron Hobbs led three MCHS players in double figures by pouring in a season high 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while Kevin Peterson tallied 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Cameron Bowers added 12 points as well, and Chris Walker and Malek Sain both chipped in seven points with Walker recording nine assists and nine rebounds. Kasey Pleas rounded out the scoring for the Tigers with four points.
Page, meanwhile, finished with 23 field goals on 43 percent shooting and hit 6-of-18 attempts from beyond the arc.
Shooting guard Hunter Bennefield paced the Patriots with 24 points, while reserve guard Stewart Ringstaff knocked down all five of his three-point attempts and finished with 15 points. Keith Jones also notched eight points for Page and Dylan White and Ben Brannum each had five points.
Page jumped out to a 12-7 lead midway through the first quarter before Marshall County went on an 11-3 run with the help of five points from Peterson and a Hobbs trey to pull ahead 18-14 early in the second period.
Bennefield personally outscored MCHS 6-2 over the next two minutes to knot the game at 20-20, but the Tigers rattled off seven straight points, highlighted by a three from Sain, to seize a 27-20 advantage late in the half.
After the Patriots tallied seven of the last nine points of the first half to narrow the gap to 29-27, Marshall County opened the third quarter with an 18-8 run behind 10 points from Bowers and eight points from Hobbs to forge a 47-35 lead.
Page outscored MCHS 19-10 over the next four minutes to whittle the deficit to 57-54 midway through the fourth quarter, before the Tigers opened up a 62-54 advantage thanks to a Peterson three-point play and a layup by Bowers.
The Patriots would close the gap to three points three more times and trailed just 66-63 with 1:00, but came up empty on their final three possessions while Marshall county scored the final six points of the game on the strength of four free throws and a Sain layup to clinch their 72-63 triumph.