Tigers fall to top-ranked CPA
The Marshall County Tigers were unable to stop Christ Presbyterian Academy's rampage through District 12-AA, as the Lions defeated MCHS 81-58 on Friday night in Lewisburg to finish undefeated in conference play.
Having beaten its previous nine District opponents by an average of 38.9 points per game, CPA (25-4, 10-0 District) erased any notions of a potential Tiger upset bid early on by building a 49-27 lead in the first half.
Marshall County (16-9, 7-3) made the Lions work harder in the second half, but never pulled any closer than 14 points over the final two quarters en route to suffering its fourth straight loss to the Nashville based private school.
"We didn't fight like we should have at the start of the game. We can't wait until someone hits us to fight. We're better than this," said MCHS coach Arnett Bodenhamer.
CPA combined an efficient low post game with lethal outside shooting, as they shot 50 percent (28-of-56) from the field overall and knocked down 10-of-22 three-point attempts while six different players scored in double figures.
Lion forward Braxton Blackwell hit only 5-of-16 shots, but still had a significant impact on the game and finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals, and three blocked shots.
Tyger Campbell also tallied 16 points and Parker Howell added 14 points. Micah Davis notched 11 points for CPA as well, while Evan Ragsdale and Sam Johnson chipped in 10 points apiece.
"We know they have some big time players, but we can't let their other guys hurt us too," said Bodenhamer.
The Tigers shot a respectable 42 percent (22-of-52) from the floor, knocked down 4-of-12 attempts from beyond the arc, and outrebounded the Lions 28-27, but were hamstrung by 25 turnovers.
Junior guard Malek Sain paced three Marshall County players in double figures with 22 points, eight rebounds, and three steals. D'Andre Brown followed Sain with 14 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while Kacy Pleas and Trey Crutcher added 10 and six points respectively.
The Tigers trailed just 8-6 midway through the first quarter, but the Lions quickly took control of the game by putting together a 19-4 run to stretch its lead to 27-10 early in the second period.
After Marshall County cut the deficit to 27-14 on a Caleb Fields layup and a jumper by Brown, CPA tallied eight of the next 10 points to open up a 35-16 advantage.
MCHS rattled off seven straight points thanks to three free throws and a pair of layups from Pleas and Sain to narrow the gap to 35-23 before the Lions ended the half with a 14-4 spurt to stretch its lead to 49-27.
The Tigers tried to claw their way back into the game in the third quarter and outscored CPA 23-15 in the stanza on the strength of 14 points from Sain, a couple of jumpers from Brown and a Crutcher three to whittle the deficit to 64-50.
CPA then notched the first three points of the fourth period on a Howell layup and a free throw by Blackwell to make it 67-50 before Pleas buried a trey to close the gap to 67-53.
Marshall County would pull no closer, though, as the Lions outscored MCHS 14-2 over the next five minutes to forge an 81-55 advantage prior to taking home the 81-58 victory.
Marshall County 10 17 23 8 = 58
CPA 24 25 15 17 = 81
Marshall County: Malek Sain 22, D'Andre Brown 14, Kacy Pleas 10, Trey Crutcher 6, Curtis Keiler 4, Caleb Fields 2.
CPA: Braxton Blackwell 16, Tyger Campbell 16, Parker Howell 14, Micah Davis 11, Evan Ragsdale 10, Sam Johnson 10, Maverick Mayernick 3, Rylan Harris 1.
Three-point field goals: Marshall County (4): Crutcher 2, Sain 1, Pleas 1; CPA (10): Campbell 3, Ragsdale 3, Davis 3, Mayernick 1.
Halftime score: CPA 49, Marshall County 27.