Tigers lose close one to CPA
The opening game of District 12-AA play for the Tigers would be a chance for Marshall County (6-10, 0-1) to find out how much it had learned from a demanding out of conference schedule leading up to Tuesday nights showdown against Christ Presbyterian Academy (7-6, 1-0).
CPA, the defending two-time state champions, showed they still had a little bit left in the tank despite losing two of the top players in the country to prep schools by beating a tough Marshall County squad 54-46.
"We need to tighten up our scoring but our main thing is defense and we need to start locking people down, shutting people down like we know we can" senior post Montrell Harris said. "We have the most athleticism in the district, but we just aren't showing it right now. I think we can beat CPA when we meet them again."
Malek Sain, who was honored before the game going over 1,000 in his career against Brainerd earlier in the season, led the Tigers with 13 points as the Lions held the Tigers to its second lowest scoring output of the year.
Keevon Maxwell chipped in 10 points and Curtis Keiler scored nine, but CPA held the Tigers second leading scorer, Caleb Fields to just three points.
Not Tigers' game
"I'm still trying to figure out why we slowed the ball down," Marshall County coach Arnett Bodenhamer said. "We're going to figure it out, but that's not what we do, that's not how we play. We just sat out there and swung the ball around and that's not what we do. We attack, attack, attack."
For the second consecutive game and subsequently the second consecutive loss, the Tigers left a deadly shooter open the entire game as Evan Ragsdale scored all of his 18 points on six 3-pointers.
Zack Erickson of Ravenwood knocked down five open 3-pointers in the Tigers close four-point loss to the Raptors at the Above the Rim Invitational at Hickman County last Wednesday.
The Tigers opened the game with two straight Maxwell 3-pointers for a 6-0 lead, but two Ragsdale threes gave the Lions its first lead at 12-11 with 2:30 left in the first quarter. Maxwell was fouled on a 3-pointer and hit two of three free throws to give the Tigers a 22-18 lead with three minutes left in the half, but Ragsdale hurt the Tigers once again with consecutive 3-pointers to give the Lions the halftime lead.
Lions speed away
The second half was all Lions as the Tigers were held to just five third quarter points to CPA's 17.
"We didn't come out with the same energy as we did in the first half definitely," a disappointed Maxwell pointed out. "We didn't come out and do what helped us get the lead in the first half either."
A late Tiger rally like by Sain helped bring Marshall County back to within single digits, but the run was too little too late and the Lions held on for the eight-point win.
"They better be ready for Cascade," coach Bodenhamer said. "It's a hostile environment over there. Very hostile. You've got to be ready to go on the road. Cascade's a very good team and they're ranked (No. 3). I don't think they've lost a game, I don't know. We've lost a lot. So we've got to get some guys to step up. Just like anything, you've got to do your job, hold your end of the rope."
The Tigers will look to get back on track against third-ranked Cascade Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Wartrace.
Marshall County 17 5 5 19- 46
CPA 15 9 17 13-54
Marshall County (46): D'Andre Brown 6, Caleb Fields 3, K.J.Johnson 5, Curtis Keiler 9, Keevon Maxwell 10, Malek Sain 13.
CPA (54): Dean Cooper 5, James Deaton 5, Michael Mayernick 7, Bryce McCormick 15, Evan Ragsdale 18, Drew Scott 4.
Three-point goals: CPA (8)- Ragsdale 6, Deaton, McCormick. Marshall County (4)- Maxwell 4, Johnson, Keiler.