Spring Hill slips past Tigerettes
The Marshall County Tigerettes gave it their best shot on Friday night, but were unable to defeat District rival Spring Hill, as they dropped a hard fought 60-52 decision to the Lady Raiders on the road.
Having lost to Spring Hill 67-46 in its previous meeting on Jan. 13, the Tigerettes (6-16, 2-6 District) appeared poised to knock off the third place Lady Raiders on Friday after building a 47-40 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Spring Hill, however, found another gear during crunch time and spoiled Marshall County's upset bid by outscoring MCHS 20-5 over the final 5:55 of the contest to record their fifth straight win over the Tigerettes.
The Lady Raiders (9-13, 5-3 District) shot just 39 percent (22-of-57) from the field overall, but knocked down 9-of-20 three-point attempts.
Senior guard Leisa Butler passed the 1,000 career scoring mark and led four Spring Hill players in double figures by pouring in 17 points. Bre Nixon followed Butler with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocked shots, while Asiah Oden and Gracyn Martin tallied 14 and 11 points respectively.
Despite hitting 10-of-14 field goal attempts in the first quarter, the Tigerettes shot only 36 percent (19-of-53) from the floor, which included a 5-of-19 effort from beyond the arc. Marshall County did outrebound the Lady Raiders 36-27, but committed eight more turnovers (15-7) than Spring Hill.
Junior point guard Kiya Morris once again was Marshall County's main offensive catalyst and led the Tigerettes with a game high 20 points and five assists.
"I feel like the first time we played them we didn't play that well, but we've improved since then and we came to play tonight," said Morris.
Leah Hollingsworth and Taianda Hutton notched nine points apiece as well, while Sydne Solomon and Alexis Ford each added six points with Solomon grabbing a team high 10 rebounds. Kemesha McFall rounded out the scoring for Marshall County with two points.
Spring Hill inched out to an early 9-6 lead, before the Tigerettes put together a 10-0 run on the strength of two Hollingsworth threes and a pair of layups from Ford and Hutton to pull ahead late in the first quarter.
Following a Martin trey, which cut the deficit to 16-12, Marshall County tallied six of the last eight points of the first period thanks to a Hutton jumper and a couple of bank shots from Solomon and Ford to open up a 22-14 advantage.
The Tigerettes were unable to keep up their torrid offensive pace in the second period, as the Lady Raiders outscored MCHS 11-2 through the first six minutes of the stanza to take a 25-24 lead.
After Morris buried a three from the top of the key to give Marshall County a 27-25 advantage at the break, the Tigerettes opened the third quarter with an 11-5 spurt behind six points from Morris and a Hollingsworth trey to stretch their lead to 38-30.
Big lead fades
Spring Hill rattled off eight straight points to tie the game at 38-38 late in the third period, but MCHS responded with a 9-2 run, highlighted by a Hutton three, to grab a 47-40 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Marshall County saw its lead quickly evaporate after that point, as the Lady Raiders outscored the Tigerettes 13-2 over the next three minutes to seize a 53-49 advantage.
Morris hit two free throws with 2:51 left to whittle the deficit to 53-51, but MCHS mustered just one free throw the rest of the way while Spring Hill closed the game with a 7-1 burst to clinch the 60-52 victory.
Marshall County 22 5 13 12 = 52
Spring Hill 14 11 13 22 = 60
Marshall County: Kiya Morris 20, Leah Hollingsworth 9, Taianda Hutton 9, Sydne Solomon 6, Alexis Ford 6, Kemesha McFall 2.
Spring Hill: Leisa Butler 17, Bre Nixon 15, Asiah Oden 14, Gracyn Martin 11, Mikayla Martin 3.
Three-point field goals: Marshall County (5): Hollingsworth 3, Morris 1, Hutton 1; Spring Hill (9) Oden 2, Butler 2, Gracyn Martin 2, Nixon 2, Mikayla Martin 1.
Halftime score: Marshall County 27, Spring Hill 25.