Raiders upend Tigers, dash district hopes
Spring Hill likely dealt a fatal blow to the Marshall County Tigers' District 12-AA regular season title hopes on Friday night, as MCHS fell 57-54 to the fifth place Raiders on the road.
After whipping Spring Hill 77-55 in its previous encounter on Jan. 13, the Tigers (15-8, 6-2) held a 42-37 lead late in the third quarter of Friday's contest before the Raiders rallied to pull ahead 48-42 with 5:42 left in the fourth period.
Marshall County sliced the deficit to 55-54 late in the game, but Spring Hill (6-16, 2-6 District) hung on for the three-point victory thanks to a late steal by reserve forward Justin Oden to snap a three-game losing streak against MCHS.
Due to Friday's loss, the Tigers fell two games behind first place Christ Presbyterian Academy in the District standings with only two conference games left.
Although Marshall County committed just 10 turnovers, outrebounded the Raiders 33-32, and held a 18-7 edge on the offensive glass, the Tigers shot a mere 28 percent (18-of-64) from the field overall, which included a 4-of-16 effort from three-point range.
"We've got to play smarter basketball. We didn't play smart basketball after we took the lead in the third quarter. We just came down and shot jump shots instead of running some clock," said MCHS coach Arnett Bodenhamer.
Malek Sain and D'Andre Brown led the Tigers with 15 points apiece with Brown recording six steals. Kacy Pleas and Trey Crutcher tallied seven and five points respectively as well, while Caleb Fields added four points and five steals.
The Raiders, conversely, committed 23 turnovers, but shot 48 percent (20-of-42) from the floor and knocked down 3-of-9 attempts from beyond the arc.
Justin Oden gave Spring Hill a spark off the bench and scored a team high 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Tylin Oden also notched 11 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocked shots for the Raiders, while Alex Harrison chipped in nine points.
Spring Hill jumped out to a 6-1 lead midway through the first quarter, but the Tigers engineered a 16-6 run on the strength of five points from Brown, four points from Pleas, and a Kevon Maxwell three to seize a 17-12 advantage early in the second period.
The Raiders then reeled off eight straight points to grab a 20-17 lead before Crutcher buried a trey to tie the game at 20-20 midway through the second quarter.
After Spring Hill outscored MCHS 13-8 over the final 4:32 of the half to take a 33-28 advantage into the break, the Tigers opened the third period with a 14-4 spurt behind eight points from Sain to pull ahead 42-37.
The Raiders refused to fold and tallied the next 12 points to surge ahead 48-42 early in the fourth quarter.
Marshall County sliced the deficit to 48-47 thanks to a Sain layup and a three-point play by Brown, but Spring Hill notched five of the next seven points to open up a 53-48 advantage with 1:43 left.
Aided by six missed free throws from the Raiders, the Tigers put together a 6-2 run thanks to four points from Brown and two Pleas free throws to narrow the gap to 55-54 with :06 remaining.
Marshall County then had a chance to potentially win the game when Fields tied up a Spring Hill player and MCHS was awarded possession on a jump ball with :03 left.
Justin Oden, though, saved the day for the Raiders by intercepting the Tigers' inbounds pass after the ball was deflected.
Oden then sank two free throws with nine-tenths of a second remaining to make it 57-54 before Sain missed a desperation heave at the buzzer.
Marshall County 14 14 14 12 = 54
Spring Hill 10 23 8 16 = 57
Marshall County: Malek Sain 15, D'Andre Brown 15, Kacy Pleas 7, Trey Crutcher 5, Caleb Fields 4, Curtis Keiler 3, Keevon Maxwell 3, Darius McKenzie 2.
Spring Hill: Justin Oden 20, Tylin Oden 11, Alex Harrison 9, Daniel Johnson 7, DeEric Burgett 6, Malcolm Nicholson 4.
Three-point field goals: Marshall County (4) Keiler 1, Brown 1, Maxwell 1, Crutcher 1; Spring Hill (3): Johnson 1, Harrison 1, Justin Oden 1.
Halftime score: Spring Hill 33, Marshall County 28.