Columbia holds off Tigerettes
Despite turning in one of their best performances of the season, the Marshall County Tigerettes were unable to come away with a victory on Tuesday night, as they dropped a 61-50 decision to Columbia Central at home.
MCHS (2-8) had been drubbed 77-47 by Columbia in their previous encounter on Nov. 21, but the Tigerettes stayed within striking distance of the Lady Lions (4-6) for much of Tuesday's contest and trailed just 50-45 late in the fourth quarter.
Columbia, however, managed to keep Marshall County at bay during crunch time and outscored the Tigerettes 11-5 over the final 1:51 to record their 10th straight victory over MCHS.
"Even though we lost, I was encouraged by our performance. The girls came out with a lot of intensity and were ready to play," said Marshall County coach Jerrie Henry. "I hope this game will give the girls some confidence because Columbia is a AAA team with a Division I prospect. We have something to build on, but we need to be more consistent."
Aided by a 8-of-12 shooting performance in the second quarter, the Lady Lions shot 44 percent (23-of-52) from the field overall despite hitting only 3-of-13 three-point attempts. Columbia also knocked down 12-of-15 free throws and committed only eight turnovers.
Point guard Cokie Young helped the Lady Lions stave off the Tigerettes' upset bid by scoring 14 of her game high 29 points in the fourth quarter. MaKayla Timmons followed Young with 17 points while Keadrianna Webster added eight points.
Marshall County finished with 20 field goals on 38 percent shooting and knocked down 5-of-17 attempts from beyond the arc, while hitting only 5-of-9 free throws. The Tigerettes did outrebound Columbia 35-22 and held a 14-6 advantage on the offensive glass, but were hamstrung by 18 turnovers.
Center Alexis Ford recorded a double-double and paced three Marshall County players in double figures with a season high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go along with 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Leah Hollingsworth also tallied 12 points on four treys, while Kiya Morris added 11 points and five assists. Sydne Solomon notched nine points as well and Alexia Allen chipped in two points. Taianda Hutton and Christy Pettigrew rounded out the scoring for MCHS with one point each.
The Tigerettes got off to a good start and built a 12-11 lead in the first quarter behind five points apiece from Ford and Morris.
Columbia opened the second quarter with a 10-4 spurt to seize a 21-16 advantage midway through the stanza before Hollingsworth canned a three to cut the deficit to 21-19.
After outscoring MCHS 7-4 over the last 2:20 of the first half to stretch their lead to 28-23, the Lady Lions tallied the first eight points of the third quarter to open up a 36-23 advantage.
The Tigerettes put together a 7-0 run behind five points from Ford to narrow the gap to 36-30, but Columbia promptly rattled off six straight points to push their lead to 42-30 late in the third period.
Marshall County outscored the Lady Lions 15-8 over the next 7:10 with the help of two Hollingsworth treys, five points from Solomon, and a pair of Ford layups to whittle the deficit to 50-45, but Young drained a three before Timmons hit a layup to give Columbia a 55-45 advantage with 1:17 left.
Following a jumper by Solomon, which closed the deficit to 55-47, the Lady Lions tallied six of the last nine points of the contest, highlighted by a Young trey, to cap their 61-50 victory.