CPA captures back-to-back 12-AA titles
The MCHS Tigers returned to Spring Hill on Saturday for a marquee match-up featuring number-one seed Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA) against seconded-seeded Marshall County for the District 12-AA Tournament Championship for the second consecutive season with the Lions taking the title 62-51 last year.
Marshall County played the Lions tooth and nail during the regular season, losing by just eight points on January 5 and a mere seven points just a week prior on February 12, but the Tigers came out flat and struggled to score on the Lions after the end of the first quarter on the way to a 55-26 loss Saturday.
"We didn't come to play," a disappointed MCHS coach Arnett Bodenhamer said. "We just didn't come to play, we didn't come ready to play. In this situation you've got to be ready to play."
"We didn't do what we were supposed to do and it showed out there and that happens, but you gotta come ready to play, it's the championship game."
DeAndre Brown gave another stellar effort down low for the Tigers, leading Marshall County with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Malek Sain added eight points, but was held scoreless in the second half after starting the game hot.
"I think they watched a lot of film on us," Sain stated. "Every time we ran a play they were already there to stop it and there wasn't anything we could do about it. We didn't have any intensity at all. You could tell in warmups that we weren't looking like we were ready to win and they were."
The Tigers second leading scorer, Caleb Fields, was held to just two points on the night and Marshall County as a whole was held to a mere six second half points, including just two in the fourth quarter.
The balanced Lion attack was led by 11 points each by Drew Scott and Evan Ragsdale and Clay Washburn added nine for the district champs.
The Tigers played neck-and-neck with the Lions in the opening period with four early Brown points and a Sain triple to take the lead at 7-6 with 3:30 left in the frame.
After a J.D. Chavours layup chipped the CPA lead to 11-9, Scott nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the 14-9 Lion lead heading into the second quarter.
Fields scored his only points of the game to open up the second quarter and another Sain triple tied the game at 14-14 with 6:47 left in the half, but the Tigers would only score 12 points for the rest of the entire game in what would turn into a CPA rout.
One big play
The lone highlight of the second half turned out the be big man Darius McKenzie picking the pocket of tiny CPA point guard Dean Cooper and taking it the distance for the layup and two of Marshall County's six second half points.
The Tigers will head back to Lewisburg to regroup and await the winner of the Montgomery Central versus Camden Central game to determine the third and fourth seeds in District 11-AA.
"You always want to have a game like that (CPA) in the back of your mind so you have the extra motivation," McKenzie said. "As far as going into the next game it's best to try and erase it, get into the gym, practice, get better, learn from your mistakes and losses and try to turn those into positives and wins."
CPA 14 18 10 11-55
Marshall County 9 11 4 2-26
CPA-A.J. Maynie 2, James Deaton 5, Michael Wayernik 7, Dean Cooper 2, Drew Scott 11, Evan Ragsdale 11, Clay Washburn 9, B. McCormick 6.
Marshall County-Caleb Fields 2, Malek Sain 8, J.D. Chavours 2, Spider Howard 2, DeAndre Brown 10, Darius McKenzie 2.
3-point goals-Deaton 2, Mayernik 2, Scott 2, Ragsdale 2, Washburn1; Marshall County-Sain 2.
Halftime score-CPA 32, Marshall County 20.