MBA makes Tigers see red
The Marshall County Tigers (7-5) finished fourth in the Overton Christmas Tournament after suffering a 77-57 loss to Montgomery Bell Academy Big Red in the consolation finals on Sunday.
Coming off a late night contest against Ohio powerhouse Dunbar High School the previous evening, the Tigers looked groggy against MBA early on, as the Big Red built a 44-24 lead in the first half.
MBA (7-2) then opened up a 66-40 advantage at the end of the third quarter before cruising to the 20-point victory.
Too far behind
"We didn't play that well. MBA played with more determination and heart at the start of the game and we ended up spotting them a 20-point lead in the first half. We played even with them in the second half, but it was too late by then," said Marshall County coach Adrian Wilson. "We've got a lot of growing up to do. We came out nonchalant and expected to fight back like we did against Columbia."
The Big Red exploited their size advantage in the paint and finished with 28 field goals on 51 percent shooting. MBA also knocked down 6-of-17 three-point attempts and made 15-of-18 free throws.
"They're big, strong, and fundamentally sound. They knew what they wanted to do and did it well," said Wilson.
Reserve forward Charlie Hawkins paced the Big Red with 14 points and center Parker Bryan added 13 points. Jordan Wilson, Elliot Morrisey, Duncan Smith, and Jermaine Francis tallied nine, eight, seven, and six points for MBA as well, while John Hazen and Jonah Rappuhn added five points apiece.
Despite hitting 12-of-24 field goal attempts in the second half, the Tigers shot just 37 percent (20-of-54) from the floor overall, which included a 3-of-10 effort from beyond the arc, while making only 14-of-24 free throws. Marshall County did hold a 10-7 edge on the offensive glass, but the Big Red outrebounded MCHS 33-26 overall.
D'Andre Brown led the Tigers with 14 points and Malek Sain notched 12 points. Jay Howard, Chris Walker, and Darious McKenzie also added nine, eight, and seven points respectively, while Curtis Keiler had three points. Kacy Pleas and Quavion Harris chipped in two points apiece for MCHS as well.
MBA took control of the game early and raced out to a 13-5 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Tigers outscored the Big Red 8-7 over the final 3:24 of the first quarter with the help of six points from Howard and a Sain jumper to trim the deficit to 20-13, but MBA opened the second period with a 21-5 run to forge a 41-18 advantage.
Runs don't help
MCHS closed the first half with a 6-3 spurt, highlighted by a trey from Sain, to narrow the gap to 44-24 at the break before MBA rattled off five straight points at the start of the third quarter to push their lead to 49-24.
Marshall County put together a 10-2 run on the strength of four points from Brown and a Keiler three to slice the deficit to 51-34, but the Big Red countered with a 15-6 spurt to forge a 66-40 lead at the end of the third period.
The Tigers then outscored MBA 17-11 in the fourth quarter behind eight points from Walker and five points from Sain for the 77-57 final.