Tigerettes in thick of district chase
The Marshall County Tigerettes have proven this season that winning inside the district is all that really matters for the post-season as they have risen to fourth place in District 12-AA after a 55-51 win over Fairview Friday night at Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium in Lewisburg.
"We really emphasize winning those district games against our district foes and when it gets down to it, the district wins are what counts," said MCHS head coach David Junkins. "We stuck one out here at the end, we made it a little tough on ourselves, but we got the win and now we are in third place."
All nine of the Tigerettes' (9-16, 9-5) wins have come in league play and they will finish no worse than third with a sweep of the last two ballgames Monday night at Spring Hill or in Tuesday night's regular season home finale versus Hickman County and will host a first-round district tournament game on Tuesday night.
"We talked about the Spring Hill game a little bit after the game tonight and it will be a big game for the girls and boys," said Junkins. "There will be a lot of people in that gym Monday night, so we have to take care of business early and not let it be a close game because it will be a hostile environment as it builds to the boys' game."
The Tigerettes scored the first four points of the game before Fairview came back with five in a row to take a one-point lead.
Marissa Lyttle converted a three-point play in the paint and after a Kiya Morris blocked shot, Mecia Reed drilled a three-pointer to put the Tigerettes up 10-5 and moments later, Morgan Moyers scored for MCHS, making it 12-5.
Fairview's Alli Mazeall bookended a pair of baskets around a Michala Hopkins three-pointer for MCHS and then Cierra McDonald scored five in row for the Lady Jackets on a steal and score and a long three-bomb, making it a one-point once again it 15-14.
Moyers and Taylor Langston traded baskets, but the Tigerettes got a buzzer-beating three-bomb from Allison Hargrove to take a 19-16 lead after the first eight minutes.
Fairview in front
Fairview owned the second quarter, outscoring Marshall County 11-3 with the Tigerettes lone bucket coming on a Reed three-pointer midway through period as the Lady Jackets took a 27-22 to the locker room for the halftime break.
The lead would stay at five points for Fairview at 31-26 until the Tigerettes finally broke free midway through the third period as Lyttle and Hargrove split a dozen point scoring run, while the MCHS defense pitched a shutout to take a 38-21 lead to final quarter of play.
Reed drilled a three-pointer out of the break, expanding the Tigerettes' lead to double digits for the first time in the ballgame, putting the Lady Jackets in a big hole.
MC holds on
Fairview would do their best to get back in the game and MCHS would help by a poor performance from the free throw line.
The Lady Jackets trailed 52-39 with 2:59 remaining in the contest when they began to foul in an attempt to cut into the MCHS lead.
The Tigerettes would miss the front end of three one and ones' and were on the short end of a 1-9 performance from the charity stripe that saw their lead shrink to 53-49 until Moyers buried two crucial foul shots with 40.6 seconds left in the game, giving the Tigerettes enough cushion to pull out the four-point victory.
Marshall County turned in a balanced scoring effort with four players in double figures as Lyttle led the way with 13 points, while Moyers and Hargrove added a dozen points apiece and Reed added 11 points.
"The good thing about our squad is, if you stop one of us, four or five are still running after it," said Junkins. "So, it is really hard to shut us out most nights."
Hopkins finished with five points and Kiya Morris added a deuce for MCHS, while Langston and McDonald led the Lady Jackets with 15 points each.