Tigers thrash Bulldogs in regular season finale
The Marshall County Tigers, coming off two consecutive district losses, took their frustrations out on a winless Hickman County squad with a 67-39 win over the Bulldogs in Lewisburg Tuesday night.
With the win, Marshall County (15-11, 11-5) clinched a tournament third seed and a first round District 12-AA home game Wednesday night at Dottie Kelso.
"It is what it is, sure we are disappointed we didn't finish higher, but we are fine," said MCHS head coach Adrian Wilson. "We controlled our own destiny and came up a game short of second, but third place in the tourney is better than fourth."
Hickman County's Brian Sensing hit one of two free throws 45 seconds into the game before the Tigers proceeded to light the candle on the blowout.
An Aaron Hobbs basket opened the scoring for Lewisburg and moments later, Kevin Peterson converted a three-point play the old fashioned way before Barry Mayes celebrated the senior night event with a three-pointer, making it 7-1.
Hobbs proceeded to steal the ball from the Bulldogs and fed Peterson for another layup, forcing a Hickman County timeout at the 6:23 mark of the first period.
Noble Orrie scored after the stoppage for Hickman County before the floodgates opened on the Bulldogs.
Chris Walker began the surge with a jumper in the lane before the Bulldogs coughed the ball up and Peterson ignited the MCHS crowd with a long three-pointer in front of the Tiger student section, making it a 14-3 ballgame.
After two misses at the free-throw line by Hickman County's Cash Dansby, Hobbs cashed in with a three-bomb from the corner, putting the Tigers in complete control at 17-3.
"Our mindset was to come out and force the tempo that we wanted," said Wilson. "We wanted to pressure them into turnovers and speed the game up."
Speed it up they did as freshman Malek Sain entered the game for MCHS and took a pass from Mayes off a steal and scored.
Hickman County was frazzled, fouling Hobbs after another turnover and Hobbs nailed both free throws, making it 21-3.
The Bulldogs could not hold on to the ball and Peterson made them pay once more, knocking in a rebound to put the Tigers up by 20 points at 23-3.
Hickman County managed to score point number five for the visitors, but Peterson ended the first quarter with a flying layup, putting the Tigers up 25-5 after the first eight minutes.
The second quarter was disastrous for the Bulldogs as the Tigers went from blow-out mode to the rout is on, scoring 14 consecutive points.
Bowers began the surge with a basket on a driving layup, before Sain went insane, scoring the next seven points on a three-pointer, a score off his own theft, and a soaring left-handed lay-in off the window, opening up a 34-5 lead.
Mayes followed with another steal and score and, moments later, hit one of two from the free-throw line.
Sain threw some salt on the Bulldogs' wound with a steal and dish to Bowers on the run to end the 14-point run before the Bulldogs finally scored on a Caleb Lane bucket as time ticked away in the first half with the Tigers in front, 39-7.
Marshall County led 56-27 after three quarters and finished the game with all subs in the contest for the entire fourth period to cap off the 28-point victory.
"I'm just excited for these young men," said Wilson. "We have a chance to make some noise in the post-season. It's a fun time of year. All the teams can throw their records out the door now. It's basically win and stay or lose and go home."
The Tigers will take on the loser of Thursday night's Page versus Summit game in Wednesday night's opening round tilt, slated to begin at 7 p.m.
"We have played something like eight games in 14 days, which has left us little room for practice," said Wilson. "We will come in and work on team weaknesses and just find ways to get better."
Peterson led the Tigers in the scoring column versus Hickman County with 13 points.
Bowers and Sain both ended up with a dozen points, Hobbs was also in double figures with 10 points, Steven Dangerfield scored a half dozen, Mayes ended up with five, Grayson Wiles netted four points, Kacey Pleas and Darious McKenzie netted a deuce apiece, and Zach Johnson hit one free throw.