Tigers take down Summit, win 3rd straight
The Marshall County Tigers, coming off back-to-back wins, made it three in a row Friday night with a solid 63-57 triumph over Summit in Lewisburg.
"You know me any win is a good win, Summit has some very good shooters and we had to come out and push them off the 3-point line," said MCHS head coach Arnett Bodenhamer. "I think we did a pretty good job of that and I'm extremely proud of the way we shared the ball and the effort we gave for four quarters."
The Tigers never trailed in the contest, leading by as many 17 points before a late charge by the Spartans was put to rest in the fourth quarter.
The two teams traded baskets to begin the contest and the first quarter was closely played with Marshall County leading 13-10 after the first eight minutes.
Tre Crutcher scored for the Tigers and John Carter scored for Summit before Malik Sain went on a red-hot streak for the Tigers, scoring 12 straight points, including two deep 3-balls that boosted MCHS out to a 27-12 lead midway through the period.
Colin Hensel broke the Tigers' run with two free throws for Summit, but Quavion Harris sparked the home squad again when he came the bench for Marshall County and scored four points in the paint, boosting the MCHS lead to 31-14.
The Spartans tried to dig in and went on a 7-4 mini-run to trail 35-21 at the half.
Summit would cut the margin to 9 points early in the third period before Cutis Keiler nailed back-to-back 3-pointers for the Tigers, extending their lead back to 15 points at 47-32.
The Spartans made it 49-36, but Crutcher nailed a long 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded, giving the Tigers a comfortable 52-36 lead, entering the fourth quarter.
Conner Bennett and Hensel would hit 3-pointers for Summit, who would inch their way back in to the contest little by little.
The Spartans would manage to get to within nine points on a John Carter bucket in the post with 3:59 remaining in the game, but a DeAndre Brown drive to the hoop for two points, plus a Sain basket moments later gave MCHS a 60-47 lead with two minutes left.
Summit would not give in, scoring seven consecutive points, cutting the Marshall County lead to six points on two Paterson free throws with under one minute to play in the game, but the Tigers iced the game from the from the free throw line to come away with the six-point win.
Marshall County had eight players in the scoring column with Sain leading the way with 18 points, while Jay Howard scored 11, Kacey Pleas netted nine, Keiler had eight points, Crutcher added seven, Brown and Harris netted four points apiece, and Caleb Fields added a deuce.
"I think our strength is that we are deep and I look to play at least 11-12 kids a night," said Bodenhamer. "The funny thing is we have yet to play with everybody, but tonight was the first we had D'Andre Brown and Chris Walker was gone on a recruiting trip. Hopefully this week we will finally be fully loaded."
John Carter led the Spartans with 18 points, Hensel had 13, Patterson scored 11, Jaden Lewis added eight points, Tai Carter and Bennett had three points apiece, and Hayden Reed added one point for Summit.
Marshall County will not play a District 12AA game until January 6, 2015 when they host Giles County.
"On any given day anybody can be beat, so we have to prepare ourselves to be physically and mentally ready for the tough competition ahead," said Bodenhamer. "We have some great teams to play to finish out the semester and we know this will prepare us for those tough district games."
The Tigers have not shied away from tough competition so far this season, coming off a big trip to the Rumble on the Ridge at Forrest City High School in Forrest City, Arkansas over the Thanksgiving holiday were they went 1-2 against some great teams and Bodenhamer thinks it will prepare his squad for the rough road ahead.
"I do believe the Arkansas trip helped us and I said it before when you play tough competition, either you will step up your game or fold," said Bodenhamer. "We decided after the Forrest City loss that it was time to step up."