Tigers falter late, drop to third place
The Marshall County Tigers have lost four out of their last five ballgames, but the latest setback was a big one as they blew a fourth quarter lead and fell to Spring Hill 49-42 Friday night in Lewisburg.
"Giving up the lead and ultimately the game is very disappointing," said MCHS head Coach Adrian Wilson. "We definitely let one get away from us."
With the loss, MCHS (8-8, 5-2) dropped to third place in the District 12-AA standings, behind second place Spring Hill (8-3, 6-1) and league leader Giles County (12-2, 6-0).
Both Spring Hill and Giles County have defeated MCHS at Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium this season.
"Yes, we have put ourselves in a hole, but we do get to go to their place and fight to get those wins back," said Wilson. "It will be tough, but it's something we can do. We are far from our potential, so you will be seeing better ball from us."
The Tigers scored the first four points of the contest on a pair of Aaron Hobbs lay-ups off Raider turnovers, but Spring Hill scored nine out of the next ten points to take a 9-5 lead.
After two Chris Walker free throws made it 9-7, Spring Hill's Dustin Skelley drilled a three-pointer, but Malek Sain threw down a fall away bomb at the buzzer to make it a two-point game at 12-10.
A Hobbs bucket to begin the second quarter tied the game, but the Tigers would not be able to pull even with the Raiders again in the first half.
The Raiders would build their lead to five points at 22-17 near the end of the second quarter before Mayes hit two foul shots to end the first half with his team trailing 22-19.
Once again, it was Hobbs who opened the scoring, tying the game at 22 on a long three-bomb to begin the second half.
The two squads battled and at the midway mark of the third quarter, Cameron Bowers put the Tigers in front 29-28 with a bucket in the paint.
After a Spring Hill turnover, Bowers scored again, this time on a backdoor play, putting MCHS up by three and that would be the Tigers' margin, entering the final eight minutes of play.
"I never questioned if we would go on a run to take a lead, it was a matter of when we would," said Wilson about the Marshall County comeback. "I knew we could get stops defensively, we just are not consistent offensively."
At the 5:46 mark of the fourth quarter, Bowers scored to extend MCHS' lead to five points at 37-32 and then it would all fall apart.
The Raiders outscored, outrebounded and outplayed the Tigers on defense the remainder of the contest, displayed by a 17-5 pasting to end the contest.
"The offensive rebounds we gave up late in the game along with us missing shots was our demise," said Wilson. "I thought our shot selection was poor when we had a lead with just a few minutes to go. We have to do a better job of making the other teams' defense work to stop us instead of taking quick shots."
Marshall County travels to Hickman County on Tuesday for the second of six consecutive district games.
The Tigers will be off Friday night before taking the hard court again next Tuesday night in Pulaski.
There were no Tiger scorers in double figures as Hobbs, Bowers and Sain all had nine points apiece, while Walker scored seven, Mayes ended up with five and Kacey Pleas scored three points.
Skelley led all scorers with 13 points in the game for Spring Hill.