Tigers surge past Page in second half
The Marshall County Tigers picked up an important District win on Tuesday night when they defeated fourth place Page 67-54 on the road to complete the season sweep of the Patriots.
MCHS (14-9, 10-3 District) had won the last nine meetings against Page, which included a 72-63 victory on Dec. 11, but the Patriots (9-12, 6-5 District) hung tough early on and held a 33-32 lead at the end of the first half.
The Tigers then took control of the game at the start of the second half and used a 25-10 run to seize a 57-43 advantage early in the fourth quarter before taking home the 13-point win.
Thanks to Tuesday's triumph, Marshall County remained in a tie with Spring Hill for second place in the District 12-AA standings.
"It's a good feeling to come here and get a win because Page was still battling for third place," said MCHS coach Adrian Wilson. "We're starting to finish games now. We made some mistakes tonight, but we're finding ways to win games like this."
Bolstered by a 9-of-16 shooting performance in the third quarter, the Tigers shot 49 percent (23-of-47) from the field overall, which included a 5-of-12 effort from three-point range, while knocking down 16-of-23 free throws.
Aaron Hobbs led three Marshall County players with 15 points, while Kevin Peterson tallied 14 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Cameron Bowers added 12 points and four assists as well, and Malek Sain and Kasey Pleas notched eight and seven points respectively. Barry Mayes also chipped in six points and seven steals for MCHS, while Chris Walker had five points, 10 rebounds, and four assists.
Although Page also finished with 23 field goals on 40 percent shooting and made 7-of-26 attempts from beyond the arc, the Patriots shot just one free throw in the contest.
Page did hold a 10-8 edge on the offensive glass, but the Tigers outrebounded the Patriots 29-23 overall.
Hunter Benefield paced Page with 17 points, while Donte' DeSalle tallied 12 points. Keith Jones and Mason Ringstaff notched seven points apiece for the Patriots as well.
The Tigers got off to a solid start and jumped out to a 12-7 lead midway through the first quarter with the help of a Mayes trey and four points apiece from Hobbs and Bowers.
Page notched six of the next eight points to cut the deficit to 14-13 late in the first period, before MCHS stretched their lead to 18-13 early in the second quarter thanks to layups by Pleas and Hobbs.
After the Patriots went on a 14-6 run to pull ahead 27-24, Peterson buried a three from the right wing to tie the game at 27-27 late in the first half.
Page then rattled off six straight points to seize a 33-27 advantage, but Marshall County tallied the final five points of the half on a Sain three and a layup by Pleas to narrow the gap to 33-32.
The Tigers grabbed the momentum at the start of the second half by opening the third quarter with a 9-2 spurt, capped by a Peterson trey, to grab a 41-35 lead.
The Patriots sliced the deficit to 43-41 on threes by Benefield and Jones, but Marshall scored eight straight points on baskets by Peterson, Hobbs, Pleas, and Bowers to push their lead to 51-41 late in the third period.
Following a layup by Smith, Pleas made one-of-two free throws before Sain banked in a three from just inside the half court line as time expired in the third quarter to give MCHS a 55-43 advantage.
After Bowers scored on an offensive put back early in the fourth period to make it 57-43, Page narrowed the gap to 58-47 on baskets by Benefield and DeSalle, before the Tigers sealed their 67-54 victory by hitting nine free throws in the final 1:49 of the contest.