Page proves too much for Tigerettes
Perhaps nobody outside its own locker room expected the Tigerettes to progress to the point the 2017 team had coming into Friday night's game against Page.
With seven wins midway through the season the Tigerettes had already tied the win total of the past two seasons combined with a chance to pass that total with a win over the Lady Patriots.
But Page (9-7, 2-1) wasn't quite ready to let the upstart Tigerettes (7-8, 1-2) ruin its second place standing so easily, handing Marshall County its eighth loss of the season in a tight 47-35 contest.
"They're pretty good, they've got a good team," MCHS coach David Steely said. "I knew going in for us to win it was going to take a real good effort. We probably played better defense than we played all year."
"We've just got to put it together where all of us are playing well together the same night and I still think we can."
Taking a page from CPA's book, the Patriots focused its defensive attack on the Tigerettes sharpshooter, Leah Hollingsworth, holding the junior standout to just one 3-point field goal and three points.
The Lady Pats also managed to do something no other team has been able to do this season----stop Zachuriya O'Neal.
The senior do-it-all point guard was held to a season low four points, but led Marshall County with three assists.
With the power scoring backcourt duo shut down, freshman Kelsey Keiler picked up the slack with 11 points, Demarie Ingram scored nine points, grabbed eight rebounds and picked off three steals and Alli Hobbs chipped in six points and seven rebounds.
"I knew this game was going to be a tough one and I wanted so bad to beat them because they're close to CPA (in the standings) and so are we so I wanted to beat them," Hobbs said. "I just came out here knowing that I had to have a big game tonight."
The Patriots drew first blood on a Lauren Wilker 3-pointer and after Mackenzie Lane knocked down the second Page triple of the game with 2:12 in the first for a 10-6 lead, Keiler nailed a free throw line zone buster a minute later to bring the Tigerettes within two at 10-8.
The Lady Patriots kept the Tigerettes within arm's length for the rest of the first half, but O'Neal grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a put-back to pull the home team within one at 15-14 with 2:32 left in the half.
The Tigerettes scored just two more points the rest of the half and Page put some distance between the teams with another Lane triple for a 26-14 lead, heading into the break.
The Tigerettes scored four straight to open the second half, but a Faith Wilken three-point play pushed the back to 29-18.
Hollingsworth finally knocked down a shot with seven seconds left in the period to cut the lead to 10 and an Ingram layup shaved two more points off the lead, but the Patriots finally put the Tigerettes away for good after a series of turnovers and missed shots from the home team.
"Pretty easy, tonight we had too many turnovers," Steely said. "When it's a struggle for us to score consistently anyway we just can't turn the ball over. Every time we'd get to within four or six we'd throw it away. That was the game."
The Tigerettes now look to winnable games at Cascade (3-13, 1-3) and at home against Nolensville (7-8, 2-2) to jump back into the upper half of the district standing with CPA, Giles County and Page.
Marshall County 10 6 9 10-35
Page 13 11 11 12-47
Marshall County (35): Kelsey Keiler 11, Demarie Ingram 9, Alli Hobbs 6, Zachuriya O'Neal 4, Leah Hollingsworth 3, Hannah Davis 2
3-point goals (2): Hollingsworth, Keiler
Page (47): Faith Wilken 17, Allison Pack 8, Mackenzie Lane 8, Payton Clark 5, Lauren Wilker 5, Olivia Wilson 4
3-point goals (5): Lane 2, Wilken, Wilker, Wilson
Halftime score: Page 24, Marshall County 16