Tigers outlast Lions on second-half effort
Columbia Central had beaten Lewisburg four straight times and it looked like they would make it five-straight until the Tigers awoke from a Tuesday evening nap with a vengeance to take a 47-38 win at Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium.
"That was a real good Columbia team," MCHS coach Arnett Bodenhamer said. "My guys came back in the second half with a great team effort."
MCHS evened its record at 4-4 on the season and is beginning to get some real gelling going on.
"When you wake up in the morning man, you have to put two feet on the ground and give it all you got," Bodenhamer stated. "You just have to appreciate life and when my kids play well it makes me so proud."
Not an indication of the first quarter though as the Tigers just could not get the rock to fall through the net, barely missing shot after shot.
Five minutes into the game, the Tigers had one point, while the Lions put up 10.
Finally, a goal
Malek Sain, who joined teammate Caleb Fields with a game-high 16 points, scored the first field goal for Marshall County with less than two minutes to go in the first quarter.
"Tonight we finally played as a team," Sain said. "We got the win, so it was good win over a good Columbia team that had beaten us four times in four games. It was the first win for me over Columbia since my freshman year."
Quavion Harris managed the only other bucket for the Tigers in the quarter that was won by Columbia 14-5.
KJ Johnson opened up the second quarter with his lone field goal of the game and Sain followed with a steal and score, making it 14-9.
Lions in front
After a Columbia missed shot, Sain made one free throw to cut the lead to four points, but a basket by Sanchez Burkeen and a single foul shot by Luke Wilson made it a seven-point game.
Fields and Burkeen exchanged 3-pointers and the remainder of the first half was played pretty even with the Lions leading 26-20 at the intermission.
"It was kinda my fault in the first half because I wasn't playing as good as I should have been," Fields said. "He (Bodenhamer) got on me at the half and in the second half I picked it up and we started playing as a team."
Columbia maintained a six-point 34-28 lead late in the third quarter until DeAndre Brown scored on a layup, followed by a Fields bucket over the top off a defensive stop and the period ended tied at 34 when Sain scored on a buzzer-beater after a Columbia brick.
The fired-up Tigers kept the heat on the Lions to start the final period, scoring six straight points to take a 40-34 lead.
MCHS had a chance to pull away even further, missing the front end of two one-and-one situations from the foul line, but Columbia could not solve the Tiger defense and ultimately Lewisburg would make four-out-of-six free throws down the stretch to seal the nine-point win.
"This is the first time I have beat them since I have been here, so it is always good to beat Columbia," Fields said. "
Marshall County has a tough task ahead tonight, taking on a stout East Nashville squad that has started the season with a 9-1 mark.
The two squads have split four games dating back to 2007 with the last meeting coming in a 2011 sectional game at Lewisburg, won by the Eagles 68-67.
"That's why we play all these tough teams at the beginning of the year," Bodenhamer said. "There are no cupcakes, we have to get better."
Columbia 14 12 8 4-38
MCHS 5 15 14 13-47
Columbia-Tae Parker 7, Luke Wilson 7, Tristan Williams 6, Sanchez Burkeen 5, Paris Brown 4, Brandon Levier 3, Cameron Harvey 2, JaCoyah Webster 2, Jalen Joyce 2.
Three-point goals-Parker, Burkeen.
Free throws-Parker 0-2, Levier 1-2, Wilson 3-4, Joyce 0-1.
MCHS-Caleb Fields 16, Malek Sain 16, Curtis Keiler 6, DeAndre Brown 4, Quavion Harris 2, KJ Johnson 2, JD Chavous 1.
Three-point goals-Fields, Sain.
Free throws-Fields 6-8, Sain 5-8, Chavous 1-2, Brown 0-1.