Tigers rout Raiders easily on the road
After consecutive district losses, the Marshall County Tigers traveled to Spring Hill Friday night where they bounced back with a big 61-42 win.
The Tigers were without head coach Arnett Bodenhamer, who was suspended for two games after being ejected versus Cascade last Tuesday night at Lewisburg.
"We were behind the eight ball after what happened the other night," senior Malek Sain said. "We pretty much did that to ourselves and our coach (Bodenhamer), so we really needed this win tonight."
Vincent Yarbrough was thrown into the fire as the Class 3A 1998 Mr. Basketball winner from Cleveland High School, UT standout and second round selection in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets coached both games Friday night.
"These boys (MCHS) are a very athletic team and they present a big problem if you don't have the same type as athletes as they are," Yarbrough said. "Three or four dribbles down the court and they are at the rim and that puts a lot of pressure on teams that have weak point guards or developing point guards."
Yarbrough was the recipient of some major production from the Tigers' backcourt as Malek Sain led all scorers with 17 points, Caleb Fields notched 15 and DeAndre Brown added eight.
"Anytime those guys with that athletic ability play under control, understand the game and see where they are going, they will have excellent games," Yarbrough said. "They are very nice young men, very respectful and listened to everything I said in my first game working with them, they absorbed it and did everything I asked them to do."
The contest was close at the outset before the Tigers broke open a 9-6 game on a Sain bucket, followed by back-to-back baskets by Fields to make it 15-6.
The first of three Noah Mayes' 3-pointers kept Spring Hill close as the first quarter wound down, but a KJ Johnson long bomb at the buzzer gave the Tigers a 23-14 lead.
Mayes nailed a 3-pointer to begin the second quarter before MCHS went on a 5-0 mini-run, making it 28-17 and forcing a Spring Hill timeout with 5:13 remaining in the first half.
The Tigers pushed forward, building a double-digit lead and once again a late 3-pointer, this time by Keevon Maxwell gave MCHS a commanding 38-23 at the intermission.
Marshall County kept its foot on the gas medal at the beginning of the second half as Fields scored first, flowed by a pair of Sain buckets to extend the lead to 44-23.
Mayes scored for the Raiders and that was about the end of the story as a pair of baskets by Fields and Sain were followed by a Darius McKenzie low post bucket, making it a 52-25 contest.
To the benches
MCHS led 54-33, entering the fourth quarter when both coaches went to the reserves with about five minutes left in the game.
The Tigers (10-11, 4-3) hosted Page last night before Homecoming at Lewisburg Friday night versus Giles County and a make-up game at CPA February 12 ends the regular season schedule.
"We are starting to get it going and get flowing, so that is good," Sain said. "Our offense always comes when our defense steps up, so everyone just has to stay calm and we will be good."
Marshall County 23 15 16 7-61
Spring Hill 14 9 10 9-42
MCHS-Malek Sain 17, Caleb Fields 15, DeAndre Brown 8, Curtis Keiler 6, Keevon Maxwell 3, Darius McKenzie 2, Keshaun Gentry 2, Trey Fields 2, Montrell Harris 1.
3-point goals-Maxwell 1, Johnson 1.
Free throws-McKenzie 0-2, Sain 1-2, Brown 1-5, Caleb Fields 3-4, KJ Johnson 0-1, Harris 1-2.
Spring Hill-Noah Mayes 13, Justin Odin 9, Malachi Young 6, Alex Harrison 5, Terrell Nunn 3, Noah Williams 3, Churaka Goff 2, Trent Wilfong 1.
3-point goals-Mayes 3, Young 2, Williams 1.
Free throws-Harrison 1-1, Odin 3-3, Williams 0-1, Wilfong 1-2, Nunn 1-2, Goff 2-2.
Halftime score-Marshall County 38, Spring Hill 23.