Sizzling scorers lead terrific Tiger triumph
The Marshall County Tigers (7-3) turned in perhaps their best performance of the season on Friday afternoon, as they thrashed the Harpeth Indians 89-68 in the first round of the Overton Christmas Tournament.
Marshall County buried the Indians (7-5) early and built a 45-24 lead in the first half before opening up a 76-45 advantage early in the fourth quarter en route to claiming the 21-point victory.
The Tigers were clicking on all cylinders offensively, as they shot a sizzling 71 percent (36-of-51) from the field overall, highlighted by 12-of-14 effort in the third quarter. MCHS also knocked down 6-of-10 three-point attempts, outscored Harpeth 11-4 at the foul line and dished out 24 assists as team.
"That's as well as we've played this year. We just beat a really good team. I have all the respect for them and their coach, but we took them out early," said Marshall County coach Adrian Wilson. "We were so unselfish today and did a good job of finding guys in the open floor."
Chris Walker and Malek Sain led five Tiger players in double figures by both pouring in 23 points apiece with Walker recording nine assists, five steals, and two blocked shots. D'Andre Brown also tallied 14 points and Kacy Pleas added 11 points. Jay Howard notched 10 points and five steals for MCHS as well, while Darious McKenzie, Tre Crutcher, and Curtis Keiler chipped in five, two, and one point respectively.
The Indians shot 48 percent from the field despite hitting just 6-of-23 attempts from beyond the arc. Harpeth also held an 8-6 edge on the offensive glass, but Marshall County outrebounded the Indians 22-14 overall.
Austin Williams paced the Indians with 22 points and Will Clayton added 12 points. Beau Johnson and Zane Hutton tallied eight points apiece for Harpeth as well.
The Tigers jumped out to an early 9-2 lead with the help of five points from Sain and a pair of baskets from Walker and Howard before the Indians notched seven of the next nine points to cut the deficit to 11-9 midway through the first quarter.
Marshall County then found another gear and put together a 24-6 run behind six points from Walker and five points apiece from Brown and Pleas to open up a 34-15 advantage with 4:41 left in the second period.
Harpeth tallied seven straight points to narrow the gap to 34-22, but MCHS countered with an 11-0 spurt, highlighted by a Sain three-point play, to push their lead to 45-22 prior to taking a 45-24 advantage into the break.
After the Tigers stretched their lead to 49-24 early in the third on layups by Walker and Sain, the Indians outscored Marshall County 8-4 over the next two minutes to trim the deficit to 53-32.
Marshall County then hit Harpeth with another haymaker by engineering a 17-7 run on the strength of a Pleas three-point play and five points apiece from Sain and Brown to forge a 70-39 advantage late in the third period.
Harpeth closed the gap to 73-45 early in the fourth quarter before Walker drained a trey from the left wing to give MCHS a 76-45 lead.
The Indians then rattled off 14 straight points against the Tiger reserves to whittle the deficit to 76-59 with 4:30 left, but Marshall County quickly restored order and outscored Harpeth 13-9 the rest of the way with the help of eight points from Sain to cap their 89-68 triumph.