Tigers hang tough in 6-AA opener
Momentum begins to flow as Marshall Co. fans cheer team
The more you yearn for something, the harder it seems to grab on to.
The Marshall County Tigers had victory firmly in its hands, let it slip away, and then snatched it back to win 46-42 over Camden Central in the Region 6-AA Tournament opener in Lewisburg Tuesday night.
"We are moving on and I'm glad of that, so I want to go ahead and put this one behind us and move on to the next one," said MCHS coach Arnett Bodenhamer.
Sophomore guard DeAndre Brown, who played a key role for the Tigers said, "We got up and then we started relaxing and letting them get open shots and not playing defense, while our offense was not clicking."
"Once we got it in our mind to win this game and get where we want to be, we started getting at it."
The Tigers seemed a little nervous to start the game, missing some open shots that led to a 7-6 Camden Central lead in a low scoring first quarter.
A Curtis Keiler 3-pointer, followed by a Brown steal and dish to Malek Sain pushed MCHS in front 11-7 late.
Kentrell Hudson came up with a basket for the Lions, but Tre Crutcher drilled a buzzer-beating three-bomb, electrifying the MCHS faithful.
Marshall County began to get out on the run in the second quarter as they took a 17-13 lead and extended it to double digits, all on fast break points, including four by Brown.
"The fans came out here and supported us really good tonight," said Brown. "They gave us a lot of cheers and hurrahs and when we get the crowd on our side and get that momentum, we are hard to stop."
The Lions scored four straight, cutting the MCHS lead to six points before Kevon Maxwell nailed another 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer, making it a 26-17 ballgame.
The Tigers looked like they had things well in control, leading by 13 points at 35-22 after a Brown 3-pointer midway through the third period.
Camden Central mounted a comeback via the long ball as Dustin Honeycutt, Hunter Vick, and Jon Lambright all buried 3-pointers in a 9-2 run to end the third quarter.
Vick, who led all scorers in the contest with 17 points, made a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter for the Lions.
"We watched film on Vick and saw he would be a main factor on the team and we saw we needed to lock him up because once he gets going, he is hard to stop," said Brown.
Meanwhile, MCHS went cold from the field and Camden Central took advantage and took the lead, going ahead 42-40 on a Honeycutt 3-pointer with 4:19 remaining in the contest.
A missed MCHS shot gave the Lions a chance to snatch the momentum, but Brown came up huge on the defensive end, stealing the ball and laying it in to tie the game.
Sain gave the Tigers the lead on a driving layup off a Camden Central missed shot and after another Lions' missed field goal with 2:19 remaining in the game, Bodenhamer signaled his squad to take the air out the ball, pulling out to the half court stripe where they burned a minute off the clock before missing an easy layup.
Vick missed a turnaround jumper at the other end that would have tied the game and Sain made the Lions pay, nailing both ends of a one-and-one after being fouled.
Brown swiped the rock again with 34.1 seconds left and the Tigers had a chance to ice the game from the free throw line, but missed five out of five foul shots down the stretch, leaving the door cracked for Camden Central.
The Lions fumbled the ball away and the Tigers escaped with the four-point victory.
"We took it there to the fence, but didn't kick them over the fence," said Bodenhamer. "We could have opened up the lead even more there at the end, but missed some free throws that we usually make."
Marshall County 14 12 11 9-- 46
Camden Central 9 8 14 11-- 42
Marshall County: Malek Sain 12, DeAndre Brown 11, Darius McKenzie 10, Curtis Keiler 6, Tre Crutcher 3, Kevon Maxwell 3, Chris Walker 2, Kacy Pleas 1.
Camden Central: Hunter Vick 17, Dustin Honeycutt 9, John Lambright 5, Kentrell Hudson 4, Hayden Stanford 3, Hunter Baker 2, Kress Johnson 2.
3-Point goals: Marshall County (4): Keiler 2, Brown 1, Crutcher 1; Camden Central (7): Vick 3, Honeycutt 3, Lambright 1.
Halftime score: Marshall County 26, Camden Central 17.