Tigers fall at CPA in regular season finale
The Marshall County Tigers traveled to Nashville on Friday night, trying to claim a win over the lone District 12AA team it had yet to win against during the regular season and lock up second place in the district with a win over a Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) team that was sporting a 65-game district winning streak.
The standing room only crowd at CPA saw a game fit for the top two teams in the district with the Lions edging the Tigers 73-66 despite Marshall County taking a lead into the fourth quarter after going down 11 points at the half.
'Let it slide...'
"We played together as a team tonight," senior shooting guard Malek Sain said. "We could have won that game, but we let it slip away in the fourth quarter. CPA is a real good team, that's why they haven't lost a district game in 5-or-6 years. We let that one slide, we had it late."
Sain led the Tigers offensive attack with 24 points, five rebounds and four assists, while D'Andre Brown added 19 points and 11 rebounds and Caleb Fields chipped in 10 points and six assists.
Evan Ragsdale led the Lion attack with 23 points and Clay Washburn, Michael Mayernick and Bryce McCormick all chipped in 13 points.
The Tigers played catchup from the outset as Washburn grabbed on offensive rebound and a layup for an early 10-6 lead and after a K.J. Johnson triple, Ragsdale nailed a 3-pointer for a 15-9 CPA edge.
Tigers take lead
Curtis Keiler hit a jumper from the corner, Fields added two free throws, and Sain nailed a NBA length 3-pointer to give Marshall County its first lead at 16-15, but CPA scored four points to close the opening period for a 19-16 lead.
The Lions took control of the ball game in the second quarter and held its biggest lead of the contest after a Washburn trey with 2:38 left in the half made the score 36-23.
Sain stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer at the 1:01 mark, but the Tigers still found themselves down 39-28 at the break.
"We needed to talk on defense a little more, they got a few back doors on us" Sain added. "I think that's what set the game off, the back doors. We've got to run them off the 3-point line because they can really shoot it out there."
The third quarter belonged to Sain and the Tigers as the visitors chipped away at the 11 point halftime deficit, before Sain pulled up and nailed a long bomb to tie the game at 48 and another deep three gave the Tigers a 52-51 edge with 1:01 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers lost the momentum in the fourth quarter as the Lions outscored Marshall County 20-12 in the final frame to remain undefeated in the district with a conference win streak dating back to the 2010-11 season.
The Tigers won the tie-breaker with Giles County for second place in the district and will play Friday night at Lewisburg versus the winner of the Bobcats/Spring Hill play-in game Thursday.
Marshall County 16 12 26 12-66
CPA 19 20 14 20-73
Marshall County-D'Andre Brown 19, Caleb Fields 10, KJ Johnson 6, Curtis Keiler 4, Keevon Maxwell 3, Malek Sain 24.
CPA-Dean Cooper 4, Michael Mayernick 13, Bryce McCormick 13, Evan Ragsdale 23, Drew Scoot 7, Clay Washburn 13.
3-point goals-Marshall County (7)-Johnson 2, Maxwell, Sain 4. CPA (9)-Ragsdale 5, Scott 1, Washburn 3.
Halftime score-CPA 39, Marshall County 28.