Lyttle signs Columbia State scholarship

Friday, May 17, 2013
Marshall County High School senior Marissa Lyttle (front row, center) signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Columbia State Community College on Friday. Also pictured with Marissa are, from left, front row, aunt Paula Walker, grandmother Martha Lyttle, younger sister Trinity Evans, mother Janice Lyttle, and Norma James; back row, Marshall County athletic director Kevin McGehee, Marshall County basketball coach David Junkins, and Columbia State basketball coach Bridget Goodnight. Tribune photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

All of the hard work that Marshall County senior center Marissa Lyttle put in over the last two years paid off in a college scholarship, as she signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Columbia State Community College on Friday afternoon at the MCHS library.

After playing sparingly as a sophomore, Lyttle evolved into a viable low post threat for the Tigerettes the last two seasons. As a junior, Lyttle averaged 7.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game en route to receiving the team's Most Improved Player award, while helping Marshall County reach the Region 6-AA tournament.

'Most improved'

"She's by far the most improved player that I've coached since I've been here," said MCHS coach David Junkins. "We were just hoping she could contribute after her sophomore year, but she worked extremely hard and made tremendous improvement the next two years. She just kept getting better and better."

With leading scorer Jameka Braden transferring to Shelbyville before the start of the school year, Lyttle carried an even greater load for the Tigerettes as a senior and averaged a double-double for the season with 12 points and a whopping 14 rebounds per game, while leading Marshall County to a third place finish in the District 12-AA standings. Thanks to her strong senior campaign, Lyttle earned All-District honors and was named team MVP for her efforts.

"She gave us a presence inside. We had a couple of good post players in our District, but she learned how to play against them. She was always good on the boards, but after Christmas she really picked it up offensively," said Junkins. "Marissa is one of those kids you like having on your team because she was never in trouble and always at practice. She became the leader of the team this season. She gave the younger players advice and when they needed to be corrected she corrected them."

Given Lyttle's rebounding ability, Columbia State coach Bridget Goodnight believes she can help strengthen the Lady Chargers low post play.

Post presence

"In our league, she'll definitely be a presence in the post. We run a lot of four-out one-in sets so she definitely has a chance to contribute in the post because she's got some great moves around the basket," said Goodnight. "We want to get out in transition more next season so she should help us do that by cleaning up the defensive boards."

Lyttle, meanwhile, is grateful for the opportunity to keep playing the game that she enjoys for at least two more years, stating, "I just like playing basketball and it will keep me focused while I'm in school. I just wanted another chance to play."

If Lyttle continues to progress at the same rate she has the last two years, she should be a productive member of Columbia State's team for the next two seasons.