Tigers take down Overton, treat coach to win

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Marshall County's (1) Jay Howard hits a short jumper over Overton's (23) John Ford in the first quarter. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Arnett Bodenhamer picked up his first win as the head coach of the Marshall County Tigers on Tuesday night when MCHS defeated the Overton Bobcats 73-62 at home.

After taking a 41-40 lead into halftime, Marshall County (1-2) held a tenuous 58-55 advantage early in the fourth quarter. The Tigers then controlled the game down the stretch and outscored Overton 15-7 the rest of the way to claim the 11-point victory.

'Early present'

"When you start out 0-2 it feels good to get a win. It's like an early Christmas present. I'm still learning what my kids can do and they need to learn what I want them to do," said Bodenhamer.

Bolstered by a 4-of-6 shooting performance in the fourth quarter, Marshall County shot 47 percent (24-of-51) from the field overall, which included a 6-of-17 effort from three-point range, while knocking down 19-of-29 free throws.

Marshall County found strength in numbers and saw 11 different players score in the contest. Junior guard Malek Sain led the Tigers with 15 points, but was forced to leave the game late in the fourth quarter due to a leg injury.

Jay Howard and Caleb Fields followed Sain with 10 and nine points respectively, while Kacy Pleas and Curtis Keiler both tallied eight points with Pleas registering a team high seven rebounds and four assists. Trey Crutcher also notched seven points and Darius McKenzie chipped in five points. Chris Walker (four points), Keevon Maxwell (three points), Steven Dangerfield (two points), and Zack Johnson (two points) rounded out the scoring for MCHS.

Although Overton (3-3) held a 12-7 edge on the offensive glass and outrebounded Marshall County 31-30 overall, the Bobcats shot just 38 percent (23-of-60) from the field, hit only 4-of-13 attempts from beyond the arc, and missed 11-of-23 free throws.

Top scorer

After watching starting power forward James Butts get ejected from the game in the first quarter, Overton reserve forward John Ford made a case for more playing time by pouring in a game high 22 points on 9-of-10 shooting. Jonathan Stovall also tallied 21 points for the Bobcats, while D'Anthony Wilson notched 12 points.

Overton jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but Marshall County put together a 16-5 run, highlighted by treys from Crutcher, Pleas, and Keiler, to seize a 16-10 advantage midway through the first quarter.

After the Bobcats outscored MCHS 12-7 over the next 3:19 to narrow the gap to 23-22, Sain hit a three as time expired in the first quarter before the Tigers notched the first four points of the second period on a Sain jumper and a layup by Pleas to stretch their lead to 30-22.

Marshall County's (21) Montrell Harris shoots a runner in the third quarter against Overton.

Overton went on a 14-5 run to pull ahead 36-35 midway through the second quarter, but the Tigers tallied six of the next eight points thanks to three Fields free throws and a Maxwell trey to grab a 41-38 lead late in the half.

Further in front

The Bobcats cut the deficit to 41-40 at halftime on a layup by Dorian Berry, before the Tigers started the third quarter by rattling off six straight points with the help of two baskets from Howard and a Sain layup to push their lead to 47-40.

Overton outscored MCHS 15-11 over the next seven minutes to close the gap to 58-55 early in the fourth quarter, but Marshall County responded with a 9-1 run behind five free throws and layups from Fields and Crutcher to forge a 67-56 advantage with 1:18 left.

After Stovall canned a three to whittle the deficit to 67-59, Crutcher, Fields, and Johnson each hit two free throws in the final :37 to seal the Tigers 73-62 triumph.