Ryan stifles Tigerettes

Friday, January 3, 2014
Marshall County's Zachuriya O'Neal drives to the basket while being fouled by Father Ryan's Katie Jordan in the third quarter. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Coming off to a 59-34 loss to Martin Luther King in the semifinals, the Marshall County Tigerettes (3-10) had to settle for a fourth place finish in the Overton Christmas Tournament after dropping a 50-26 decision to the Father Ryan Lady Irish in the consolation finals on Sunday.

Father Ryan (10-3) led by double digits for nearly the entire contest and built a 27-13 advantage in the first half before outscoring MCHS 23-13 over the final two quarters to claim third place in the tournament.

Tall order

With the Lady Irish holding a distinct height advantage at nearly every position, the Tigerettes had trouble getting clean looks at the basket and mustered just 10 field goals on 22 percent shooting, which included a 2-of-11 effort at the foul line.

Allison Hargrove led MCHS with 11 points, while Kiya Morris and Zachuriya O'Neal tallied seven and six points respectively. Christy Pettigrew chipped in two points for the Tigerettes as well.

Marshall County's Meisha Reed fires up a three-pointer in the first quarter against Father Ryan.

Despite hitting only 1-of-9 attempts from beyond the arc, Father Ryan finished with 20 field goals on 38 percent shooting while outscoring Marshall County 9-4 at the foul line. The Lady Irish also controlled the boards and held a 20-12 edge on the offensive glass en route to outrebounding the Tigerettes 42-22 overall.

No excuses

"We just didn't come to play. I'm not going to make any excuses. They didn't do anything we haven't seen before. Thankfully it wasn't a district game," said Marshall County coach Jerrie Henry. "Father Ryan is a fundamentally sound team, but they didn't do anything that we don't see in practice. We had the quickness to deny some things defensively and didn't do it. We also didn't spread the floor offensively and move without the ball."

Father Ryan showcased the depth of their team, as their reserves accounted for 33 of their 50 points. Backup center Sarah Gromos led the Lady Irish with 14 points while reserve forward Abigail Wehby added 12 points. Mary Francis Hoots, Olivia Ralick, and Katie Jordan notched seven, five, and four points respectively for the Lady Irish as well.

Father Ryan knocked the Tigerettes on their heels at the start of the game and raced out to a 15-2 lead late in the first quarter.

After Marshall County trimmed the deficit to 15-5 early in the second period thanks to a Morris free throw and a layup by Hargrove, the Lady Irish tallied the next five points to open up a 20-5 advantage.

Glimmer of hope

MCHS outscored Father Ryan 8-7 over the final 3:40 of the first half behind six points from Hargrove to narrow the gap to 27-13 at the break before Morris and O'Neal sandwiched a turnaround jumper and two free throws around a Gromos offensive put back to make it 29-17 early in the third quarter.

Following a trey from Ralick, which gave the Lady Irish a 32-17 lead, the Tigerettes put together a 6-2 run thanks to a Morris offensive put back and a pair of jumpers from O'Neal and Pettigrew to whittle the deficit to 34-23 with 2:45 left in the third period.

Father Ryan, however, quickly restored order by rattling off six straight points to forge a 40-23 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

Hargrove then nailed a three to cut the deficit to 40-26, but the Lady Irish held MCHS scoreless the rest of the way while closing the game with a 10-0 spurt to cap their 50-26 victory.