Tigerettes loose to Franklin County

Sunday, January 4, 2015
Marshall County's (3) Leah Hollingsworth fires up a jumper over Franklin's (34) Jodi Hill in the third quarter. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

On Saturday, the Marshall County Tigerettes were unable to overcome a sluggish first half performance against Franklin, as the Lady Rebels defeated MCHS 50-43 in the opening round of the Overton Christmas Tournament.

Franklin (5-8) appeared to be headed for a relatively easy victory early on after racing out to a 31-14 lead through the first two quarters of play.

Can't catch up

The Tigerettes (2-9) then made a spirited comeback in the second half and cut the deficit to 43-37 late in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Rebels were able to stave off MCHS down the stretch and outscored Marshall County 7-6 the rest of the way to hold on for the seven-point win.

Hindered by a 6-of-24 shooting performance in the first half, the Tigerettes shot a paltry 31 percent (16-of-52) from the field overall and made only 2-of-10 three-point attempts. Marshall County did outrebound Franklin 39-25 and held a 16-8 edge on the offensive boards, but shot themselves in the foot by committing 22 turnovers.

Point guard Kiya Morris led the Tigerettes with 17 points and three steals. Sydne Solomon tallied 10 points and nine rebounds as well, while Taianda Hutton and Leah Hollingsworth added six points apiece. Alexis Ford also chipped in four points and a game high 14 rebounds for Marshall County.

Stats' story

Despite hitting 9-of-14 field goals in the second quarter, Franklin finished with a modest 17 baskets on 36 percent shooting which included a 3-of-19 effort from beyond the arc. The Lady Rebels also committed only 13 turnovers and outscored MCHS 13-9 at the foul line.

Forward Jodi Hall was Franklin's main offensive catalyst and poured in a game high 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Kara Spierto followed Hall with nine points, and Abby Unger added eight points. Courtney Perkins notched six points and five assists for the Lady Rebels as well, while Holly Harris chipped in three points.

The two teams were locked in a 6-6 tie late in the first quarter but Hall scored on a layup before nailing a three-pointer as time expired in the stanza to stake Franklin to an 11-6 lead.

Hall's trey seemed to energize the Lady Rebels, as they tallied eight of the first 10 points in the second period to open up a 19-8 advantage.

Marshall County's (12) Kiya Morris shoots a layup over Franklin's (33) Kara Spierto in the fourth quarter.

Morris hit two free throws to trim the deficit to 19-10, but Franklin closed the second quarter with a 12-4 run to take a 31-14 lead into the break.

Tigerette charge

The Tigerettes began to chip away at the deficit in the second half and outscored the Lady Rebels 14-4 through the first 6:20 of the third quarter on the strength of six points from Morris and a Hollingsworth trey to whittle the deficit to 35-28.

Franklin rattled off six straight points to stretch their lead to 41-28 early in the fourth quarter, but Marshall County put together a 9-2 run on the strength of five free throws and a pair of baskets from Morris and Solomon to narrow the gap to 43-37 with 2:03 left.

The Lady Rebels, however, made their free throws during crunch time and knocked down 7-of-10 foul shots over the next 1:49 to push their lead to 50-40 before Hollingsworth banked in a trey in the closing seconds of the contest for the 50-43 final.