Golden Eagles edge Tigers

Friday, November 21, 2014
Marshall County's (00) Caleb Fields goes up for a layup in the second quarter against Shelbyville's Devonta Leslie in the second quarter. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Shelbyville spoiled Arnett Bodenhamer's debut as head coach of the Marshall County Tigers basketball team, as MCHS dropped a hard fought 62-61 decision on the road to the Golden Eagles on Monday night.

After building a 29-24 lead in the first half, Shelbyville (1-2) opened up a seemingly safe 51-38 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers then came roaring back and sliced the deficit to 58-57 with :41 left, but the Golden Eagles hung on by hitting four clutch free throws on their next two possessions to escape with the one-point victory.

Low percentage

Although MCHS outrebounded Shelbyville 43-36, held a 21-5 edge on the offensive glass, and committed 11 fewer turnovers (22-11) than the Golden Eagles, the Tigers had trouble converting on those extra scoring opportunities and shot just 29 percent (24-of-82) from the field overall, which included a 3-of-14 effort from beyond the arc.

"I believe if we had a little more time or hit a few more layups we win the game. We just needed a few more shots to fall. We made them turn the ball over, but we need to capitalize on that," said Bodenhamer. "I'm not disappointed in our players effort because they're doing things that they're not used to doing right now."

Shooting Guard Malek Sain spearheaded the Tigers late comeback by scoring 12 of his team high 14 points in the fourth quarter. Kacy Pleas recorded a double-double and followed Sain with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and five steals, while Caleb Fields and Darius McKenzie notched nine points apiece. Tre Crutcher also added seven points, and Curtis Keiler and Jay Howard both had four points. Zach Johnson chipped in two points for MCHS as well.

Height matters

Shelbyville was able to exploit their height advantage in the frontcourt and finished with 24 field goals on 41 percent shooting while knocking down 4-of-11 three-point attempts.

Power forward Tavist Allison paced three Golden Eagle players in double figures with 22 points. Devonta Leslie also tallied 16 points, while Trey Trice added 10 points. Roger Pryor, Camari Cannon, and Sam Sinclair rounded out the scoring for Shelbyville with eight, four, and two points respectively.

The Golden Eagles flew out to a 10-2 lead late in the first quarter before the Tigers closed the stanza with an 8-5 spurt thanks to field goals from Fields, Sain, Pleas, and Keiler to narrow the gap to 15-10.

Shelbyville notched the first four points of the second period to open up a 19-10 advantage, but Marshall County outscored the Golden Eagles 14-8 over the next five minutes behind five points from Crutcher and four Pleas free throws to cut the deficit to 27-24.

After Allison scored on an offensive put back in the waning moments of the half to give Shelbyville a 29-24 advantage at the break, MCHS tallied six of the first eight points of the third quarter on layups by Fields, Pleas, and McKenzie to close the gap to 31-30.

The Golden Eagles then opened up some breathing room by putting together a 20-8 run to stretch their lead to 51-38 with 6:20 left in the fourth quarter.

Marshall County's (10) Steven Dangerfield shoots a jumper over Shelbyville's (10) Devonta Leslie in the first quarter.

Tigers close in

The Tigers, however, clawed their way back into the contest by outscoring Shelbyville 19-7 over the next 4:41 on the strength of eight points from Sain and five points from McKenzie to whittle the deficit to 58-57.

After Cannon and Leslie sandwiched four free throws around a pair of foul shots from Sain to extend the Golden Eagles lead to 62-59 with 9.2 seconds left, Sain misfired on a three-pointer on MCHS' final possession before Keiler scored on an offensive put back as time expired for the 62-61 final.