Tigers prepare for Lions
Region 6-AA Tournament clash is Marshall Co.'s first in 2 years
The Marshall County Tigers have been off the region tournament stage for two years.
That all changed after a second place tournament finish in the District 12-AA Tournament and now the Tigers look for a big post-season run when they open up Region 6-AA tournament play Tuesday night in Lewisburg versus the Camden Central Lions.
The Lions (18-11) finished in third place in both the District 11-AA regular season standings and in its district tournament.
Marshall County (17-10) has only lost three game at Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium this year, twice to top-ranked CPA (27-4) and once to AAA Columbia in December.
The sledding will be tough for the Tigers as the Region 6-AA Tournament also includes second ranked Creek Wood, who is undefeated on the season at 27-0 and averaged 95.3 points per game in the District 11-AA Tournament.
Creek Wood hosts Cascade (19-10) in the first round on Tuesday, setting up a potential match-up versus Marshall County in Wednesday night's semifinals when the remainder of the tournament moves to the Red Hawks' home court.
After missing several games because of an ankle injury, senior Chris Walker returned to the lineup for the district tournament and his addition makes a deep Tiger squad even deeper and more lethal.
The Tigers run and gun style of play, sparked by a ferocious pressing defense needs all the depth they can get as MCHS coach Arnett Bodenhamer likes to play as many as 10 players in any contest in an attempt to wear down the opponent.
Leading scoring Malek Sain is the catalyst on both ends of the court for Marshall County as the southpaw guard uses his lightning quick reflexes to cause havoc in the press and on offense, Sain can burn any opponent from beyond the 3-point stripe and his ability to take the ball to the glass keeps defenders off balance.
DeAndre Brown, Sain's running mate in the backcourt provides Marshall County with the one-two punch on offense.
Senior Kacy Pleas does the dirty work inside for the Tigers and Darius McKenzie adds to the low post strength and defensive rebounding that sparks Marshall County's fast break attack.
Look for the Tigers to use their raucous student section supporters as a motivation versus Camden Central in an attempt to get the early lead.
That is when the Lewisburg squad will hurt you as they turn up the defensive pressure cooker that has been the downfall of many of their opponents this season.
If the Tigers can follow the game plan it is likely that they will take down the Lions and get a chance at Creek Wood on Wednesday.
A win in the semifinals assures a spot in the sectional round on March 3.