Tigerettes still trying to capture first victory

Friday, December 11, 2015
Leah Hollingsworth, seen here against Lincoln County, had a team-high 10 points versus Shelbyville on Tuesday night. Tribune file photo by Anthony S. Puca

Tuesday night in Lewisburg saw two of the most storied girls programs in Middle Tennessee mix it up on the Dottie Kelso memorial Gymnasium hardwood with Shelbyville Central taking down Marshall County 68-39.

The Central Golden Eaglettes (3-4) have 12 state championships, six state runner-up finishes, and have produced six Miss Basketballs, while the Tigerettes (0-5) have taken home four gold balls, one runner-up finish, and one Miss Basketball.

Feeling 'press'ure

Both squads have been slow to start off the 2015-16 season.

"Shelbyville has always been one of our biggest competitors for such a longtime and they've always had a fantastic program," MCHS coach Jerrie Henry said. "In preparing the girls for this game they knew up front they were playing a pretty good team. So it's just going out there and doing the things that we've taught them in practice."

The Tigerettes, down to three original starters from the beginning of the season, struggled from the tip against a suffocating Shelbyville full-court press and labored to find an open shot once across the half court line, scoring just six first quarter points.

The Tigerettes finally found a rhythm on offense in the second quarter behind five Tai Hutton free throws, and two 3-pointers from Leah Hollingsworth and Demariae Ingram respectively, but the halftime deficit was 40-17.

The Golden Eaglettes scored at will, forcing the Tigerettes into turnover after turnover with Jenna Hill scoring 19 of the visitors 40 first half points on four 3-point baskets.

"We could have set up our plays better and taken our time," sophomore guard Leah Hollingsworth said. "We should have not tried to throw over them because they were long and that would've cut down on the turnovers."

The onslaught continued in the third quarter as the pressure continued to confuse Marshall County, leading to another six point quarter for the home squad.

Better quarter

The Tigerettes came out inspired in the fourth quarter, playing hard despite the huge deficit and the hustle paid dividends when Cassie Whitworth got hot and scored seven straight points as the Tigerettes outscored the Golden Eaglettes 16-10 in the final frame.

"Our fourth quarter is where we really pushed through and gave the most effort," Hollingsworth, who finished with 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists, said. "Us refusing to give up was the best thing about our game tonight."

"We've done this before with teams that had the lead for two or three quarters," Henry said. "We have to be able to come out that first quarter just like the fourth quarter and play all the quarters and we haven't been able to do that yet."

'Spotty' play

"We've been sort of spotty," Henry added. "They'll come out and we'll be OK and then get down and in the fourth quarter we have nothing to lose and we come out and play. But we've got to have four quarters. You can't win in one quarter. We have to have four solid quarters."

Hutton led the Tigerettes with 11 points and seven rebounds, Ingram finished with four points, four rebounds, and three blocks, and Alexis Ford provided a strong post presence with four points and five rebounds.

Marshall County 20 20 18 10 68

Shelbyville Central 6 11 6 16 39

Marshall County (39): Leah Hollingsworth 10, Anna Claire Moses 2, Demariae Ingram 4, Cassie Whitworth 7, Alexis Ford 4, Tianda Hutton 11, Diamond Wicks 1.

Shelbyville Central (68): Hill 21, Hardy 11, Haynes 5, Felts 16, Martin 10, Mitchell 2, Phelps 2, Remmy 1.

Three-point goals- Marshall County (4): Hollingsworth 2, Ingram 1, Whitworth 1. Shelbyville (4): Hill 4.