Tigers outgunned in Wartrace

Friday, February 7, 2014
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca Marshall County's Jay Howard (5) attempts a second-quarter jumper in the Tigers' 81-61 loss at Cascade Tuesday night.

The Marshall County Tigers' first ever trip to Wartrace turned into revenge for Cascade as the Champions ran off to a 81-61 win, evening the initial District 11-AA season series in the budding rivalry.

"The fan support they had there was great, I liked the atmosphere," said MCHS head coach Adrian Wilson. "We beat ourselves first and foremost, we never got in-sync all night and we were awful defensively. When you give up 80 points in a game, you just didn't play defense."

Asked if he would like a rubber match at the upcoming district tournament in Pulaski, Wilson said, "Sure, as long as it fits into our plans in playing for the district championship."

One game back

With the loss, Marshall County (15-8, 5-3) fell one game behind the Champions (18-4, 6-3) in the win column with the Tigers ending the regular season slate with back-to-back road trips to Giles County (11-7, 4-4) and CPA (26-2, 9-0) on Thursday and Friday, while Cascade has one game left at Spring Hill (6-15, 2-7) on Friday.

Marshall County fell behind by eight points at 19-11 late in the first quarter before Malek Sain banged home a 3-pointer and D'Andre Brown followed with a drive to the glass for two more points, making it a 19-16 ballgame.

Sain went crazy at midcourt, stealing the ball and racing towards the goal where his shot spun off the rim, but Chris Walker hustled for the put-back and the period ended with the Tigers down by one-point.

The Champions played inspired in the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 25-13 in the period with Will Holt doing heavy damage with eight points.

Comeback try

MCHS trailed 44-31 at the half and fell further behind by 16 points early in the third period before they tried to comeback, beginning with a 3-pointer by Walker, who would play a pivotal role later on.

Cascade would stay even with the Tigers, holding a 15-point lead until a Kasey Pleas rebound and put followed by a Walker follow-up off a Cascade turnover cut the margin to 11-points.

Cascade had the ball near the scorer's table sideline when Walker came up and knocked the loose on what looked like a clean swipe, but Walker was whistled for a personal foul and then was hit with a technical foul that was his fifth of the game, sending him to the bench with 1:15 to play in the third quarter.

On the MCHS bench, Wilson argued the technical foul on Walker to no avail before he was assessed another technical foul.

Champs back up

Chris Walker (15) skies for two of his nine points in the contest.

After the dust had cleared, Cascade's lead was back to 15 points and an MCHS turnover that led to the quarter ending basket by James Lattimore gave the home squad a 63-46 lead, entering the final eight minutes.

"Chris I felt was wrongly given a 'T'," said Wilson. "I thought he made a clean play on the ball. That was definitely a game changer. I am always going to have my kids back and will stand up them and that was what got me the 'T'."

A Darious McKenzie bucket for the Tigers opened up the fourth quarter scoring and moments later Sain hit a trey to cut the Cascade lead to 14-points before the Champions sealed the contest with a 12-0 run.

Cascade had five players in double figures in the contest with Holt, Jesse Barnes and Lattimore scoring 14 points each, while Sam Gardner tallied 13 three and Alex Hatchett ended up with 11 points.

On the line

Cascade attempted 30 foul shots in the game and made 18, while MCHS only stepped to the charity stripe 11 times, making five.

Mckenzie and Brown had 14 points apiece, Sain scored 11, Walker had nine, Steven Dangerfield netted four, Jay Howard finished with three and Pleas had two points for the Tigers, who will have a day of practice before heading to Pulaski Thursday night.

"Bottom line is we have to come out and play with some intensity and discipline," said Wilson. "If we can do that and rebound, we should win."