Tigers take 2nd in Above the Rim

Wednesday, January 6, 2016
The Marshall County Tigers finished in second place in the Above the Rim Christmas Invitational at Hickman County. Tribune photos by Mike Inglsbee

The Marshall County boys' basketball team brought an underwhelming 4-8 record littered with tough losses from the likes of East Nashville (13-2), Pearl-Cohn (7-3), Antioch (8-5), and Brainerd (9-3) into the Above the Rim Tournament at Hickman County High School.

The Tigers proved they are on an upward trajectory after beating Hickman County (57-43), disposing of a Dickson County squad 47-36 that had beaten them just a week earlier, before losing to a Ravenwood team 56-51 to take home the runner-up trophy back to Lewisburg just in time for the district schedule to start.

'Upward swing'

"I'm encouraged by the upward swing we're making," Marshall County coach Arnett Bodenhamer said. "We've got to get it going though. The upward swing, its district time, its go time. This here, this 6-9 record that was the preseason."

Curtis Keiler had his best game of the season to lead the Tigers with 15 points on 5 3-pointers, a team high 8 rebounds and two assists.

"I just tried to focus a little bit harder on getting the ball in the basket," Keiler explained. "Finally my shot started to fall."

All-Tournament team honoree Malek Sain added 10 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals and D'Andre Brown chipped in 10 points and two rebounds for the Tigers.

Zach Erickson led the Raptors with 21 points on five 3-pointers and Case Bouldin chipped in 12 points in the Ravenwood win.

Little bit hurts big

"Couple possessions here and a couple of possessions there and maybe we're going home with the basketball (trophy)," Bodenhamer said. "It was just a couple of possessions. And that's all it takes to lose a ballgame. You can be good for three and a half quarters, you can be good with 20 seconds left in the game and something crazy happens, two offensive rebounds on free throws and there's the game."

Keiler started the game with an offensive rebound and put-back and Sain drained a 3-pointer to put the Tigers up 7-0 just two minutes into the game.

Erickson would nail a wide open three at the end of the first quarter to give the Raptors a three-point, 14-11 advantage going into the second quarter.

The Tigers started the period on a 7-0 run behind a KJ Johnson 3-pointer, a Montrell Harris layup and a Caleb Fields layup for the 18-14 edge, but another Erickson trey handed the lead back to Ravenwood.

Back and forth

Keiler nailed a short jumper to tie the game, but Erickson hit another 3-ppointer at the halftime buzzer and the Raptors took a 26-23 lead into the intermission.

Keiler nailed two wide open 3-pointers in the third quarter and the Tigers took a 39-37 lead into the fourth.

The lead see-sawed back and forth in the final quarter with a wide open Erickson three with 2:04 left in the game, giving the Raptors the lead for good and the championship trophy for the Above the Rim Tournament.

Malek Sain and Caleb Fields earned All-Tournament Team honors for the Tigers.

"We were 4-8 coming into this tournament and now we are 6-9," Caleb Fields said, who added eight points, three assists and two steals en route to All-Tournament status. "We just won two in a row before this game which boosted our confidence back up because the losses at the beginning of the year really got us down."

Marshall County 11 12 16 12-51

Ravenwood 11 15 11 19-56

Marshall County (51): D'Andre Brown 10, Caleb Fields 8, Montrell Harris 2, KJ Johnson 6, Curtis Keiler 15, Malek Sain 10.

Ravenwood (56): Brad Bloedom 2, Case Bouldin 12, Zach Erickson 21, Austin Geralds 4, Elon Smallwood 8, Zack Stallcup 2, John Thompson 7.

Three-point goals: Marshall County (7) - Johnson 2, Keiler 3, Sain 2. Ravenwood (8) - Bouldin, Erickson 5, Smallwood, John Thompson.