MCHS garners homecoming sweep

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca The 2013 MCHS Basketball Homecoming Court. Pictured, from left, they are Aaron Medley, Cortni Beardsley, Austin Blade, Hailee Walls, Grayson Wiles, Allison Hargrove (Homecoming Queen), Lana Willis, Luis Zarate, Makayla Sheppard, Nick Werner, Madalyn Gold, Trenton Wiles.

There is nothing better than a homecoming night sweep and it came to fruition Friday night in Lewisburg, as the Tigerettes and Tigers both held off Cascade in the first ever District 12-AA matchup between the two schools.

MCHS 40, Cascade 38

The Tigerettes beat the Lady Champions 40-38 in a seesaw affair that went down to the wire with Homecoming Queen Allison Hargrove delivering the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:52 remaining in the contest.

Marshall County led 11-7 after the first period before Cascade came on with a late charge, cutting the MCHS lead to one point at 20-19 on two Heather Hart free throws with 1:51 left in the first half.

Hargrove came up with a three-bomb after the Hart free throws and moments later, Mecia Reed drilled two free throws to end the first half scoring with the Tigerettes in front 25-19.

Cascade stormed back in the third period, tying the game at 27-27 on an Abi Hunt 3-bomb before taking the lead on a Courtni Carter free throw.

The Lady Champions would take a 31-28 lead into the final period and would increase the margin to six points at 36-30 on a Julie Jones rebound and put-back, forcing an MCHS timeout with 5:22 remaining in the contest.

Marshall County's Alexis Ford (31) knocks down two of her nine points in the Tigerettes' big 40-38 win over Cascade Friday night.

Alexis Ford scored for the Tigerettes out of the stoppage and Kiya Morris followed with a pull-up jumper, slicing Cascade's lead to 36-34.

One Hunt free throw made it a 37-34 game, but a clutch Christy Pettigrew jumper from the corner made it a one-point game before Shania Spencer knocked in a rebound, giving the Wartrace girls a 38-36 lead.

Marshall County called timeout after the Spencer bucket before Hargrove put the crown on the contest, drilling the eventual game winning three-pointer out of a set play.

The Lady Champs threw up a couple bricks, but the Tigerettes could not take advantage from the free throw line, missing the front end of two one and one situations.

Critical turnover

A costly turnover by Cascade with just less than 10 seconds left in the contest was crucial as Pettigrew was fouled and hit one of two from the charity stripe for MCHS with just 3.3 ticks remaining.

The Lady Champs (8-11, 1-4) could not get a shot off as the Tigerettes (4-13, 1-4) survived, picking up their first league win of the season.

Hargrove led the Tigerettes with 11 points in the contest, while Ford scored nine, Morris added six, Pettigrew and Zachuriya O'Neal both scored five points apiece, and Reed finished with four markers.

Maya Gaston led the Lady Champs in the scoring column with eight points.

MCHS 67, Cascade 53

In the boys' game, the Tigers went coast-to-coast in a big 67-53 win over the No. 10 ranked Champions, never trailing in the contest.

"The atmosphere was fantastic tonight, said MCHS head coach Adrian Wilson. "Cascade brought a great crowd and my hats off to them. That is something we don't have, but I would like to build that soon."

Kacey Pleas scored to begin the game and Malek Sain followed with a three-pointer, putting Cascade on their heels early.

Midway through the first quarter a Chris Walker fast break dunk gave MCHS a 12-4 lead before Cascade fought back, eventually cutting the Tigers' lead to four points on a late Marky Gilmore basket.

"We jump started defensively, that's what we do, that's what we are known for," said Wilson. "I felt like we got relaxed and got a little comfortable and good teams can't do that. We have to keep our foot on the gas, but Cascade is a solid, solid ball team and it will be a battle when we go back over there."

Staying ahead

Walker would hit two free throws and after a Cascade turnover, Jay Howard ended the period with a bucket in the paint, re-opening the eight-point lead for the Tigers after the first eight minutes.

The first half would end with MCHS leading by seven at 32-25 after Cascade managed to come back from a 15-point deficit.

Cascade's Alex Hatchett, who led all scorers in the game with 17 points, nailed a jumper with three minutes to go in the third quarter to cut the Marshall County lead to three points at 39-36.

The Tigers held firm as Howard scored the next four points in the paint, extending the lead to seven points for MCHS and that was the margin, entering the final eight minutes of action at Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium in Lewisburg.

Quick response

Chris Walker (15) drives to the basket for two of his 15 points in the Tigers' 14-point victory over No. 10 ranked Cascade Friday night in Lewisburg.

The Tigers (12-5, 3-0) wanted the homecoming win bad and Pleas, Walker, and Sain all scored before any Cascade player in the fourth quarter.

Cascade would not have enough in the tank to mount the comeback and the Tigers won going away by the 14-point margin for their fifth consecutive victory.

"We take one game at a time, tonight our focus was on Cascade, contesting shots and I felt we did a good job on the most part on every shot, getting a hand up," said Wilson. "Defensively we have to get better on our help side, taking away driving lanes and stuff of that nature, but we will get there."

Walker and Pleas had 15 points apiece to lead the Tigers, while D'Andre Brown was also in double figures with 13 points.

Sain ended up with nine points, Darius McKenzie chipped in with eight points, and Howard netted seven.

Will Holt scored 16 points for Cascade (14-3, 3-2), including four three-pointers.

Long home stand

Friday night's game kicked off a huge six-game home stand for the Tigers, who will entertain No. 1 CPA on Tuesday, followed by Giles County, Murfreesboro Central Magnet School, Page, and Spring Hill.

"We call ourselves road warriors, we take pride going in to gyms and getting wins, but it is really nice to be back home," said Wilson.