Tigers extend winning streak to 3 at Page
A trip by Page to Lewisburg on Friday night provided the Tigers a chance to do something it hadn't done since the end of the 2016 regular season-- win three games in a row.
And although a scrappy Page squad hung around for the better part of the game, the Tigers now have a chance to do something it has not done since the 2015 season after beating the Patriots 65-53.
A win Thursday against bitter district rival Cascade will give the Tigers its first four-game winning streak in over two years.
"I'm proud of them and I'm happy with the win," Tiger coach Arnett Bodenhamer said. "We're back to .500 in the district. Are we gonna go up? Are we gonna keep going? Next week is big. You want to go back to the state tournament? You're gonna have to prepare. And that starts this Thursday (at Cascade)."
Unlike the previous district win, a lopsided blowout of winless Spring Hill, the Tigers had to stave off several runs by the Patriots who stayed within arm's length until late in the fourth quarter.
"Defensive intensity most definitely (led to the win)", senior D'Andre Brown, who turned in arguably his best all-around performance of the season said. "The press we were in kept them turning the ball over and led to easy buckets on the offensive end. Once we locked in, it became easy basketball."
Brown led a balanced Tiger attack with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and four steals to go along with sophomore sharpshooter K.J. Johnson's 19 points.
Caleb Fields added 11 points, eight assists and four rebounds, highlighted by a morale shattering dunk in traffic over Page's Peyton Wiggington.
Isaiah Forrest led the Patriots with 11 points and Nick Burns added 10.
"I was happy with the win," Bodenhamer, who holds a 5-0 record over Page while at Marshall County, stated. "I was happy with some spots of the game. I just felt like we couldn't put them away because of stuff that we did and that's no disrespect to Page."
"Page is a darn good team," Bodenhamer continued. "But we just kept digging a hole. Instead of being 15 steps ahead we were only like seven steps ahead."
Page took an early 5-0 lead on a deep Forrest bomb, but Brown nailed a triple, stepped in front of a pass and drove in for a layup, and stole the ensuing inbound pass and fed Johnson for the lay-in and after a LaMarcus Dodson offensive rebound and layup, the Tigers led 18-12 with 1:30 left in the opening frame.
Page staged a furious rally with two straight layups, a short jumper and an old fashioned three-point play by Danyale James with 2.3 seconds left to take a 21-20 lead into the second quarter.
Brown started out the second period with a three-point play and a Keshun Gentry offensive rebound and put-back matched the Tigers biggest lead at 29-23 with half a quarter left to play.
Just like the first period the Patriots refused to let the game get out hand, clawing back to within 34-30 but a perfect pass to a streaking Tre Crutcher resulted in a buzzer beating layup at the half, leading to a 36-30 advantage at the break.
The third quarter belonged to Johnson and Brown, who scored all 16 Tiger points and after a Trey Haney three-point play closed the lead to 39-34, Johnson floated a layup in off the backboard, knocked down two free throws and broke the camel's back with a 3-pointer and a foul shot to pull the Tigers ahead 52-39.
If Johnson and Brown provided the spark to start the Tigers runaway lead, Fields provided the final blow with a drive down the middle of the lane, leaping over Wiggington for a monster dunk that killed the Patriot's morale.
Page never cut the lead under double digits in the fourth quarter and the Tigers coasted to the 12-point win and look to jump back into the race for the top district seed with contests with Cascade and Nolensville to end the week.
"We just need to keep up the defensive intensity and play smart on offense," Brown said. "We keep our pressing up and take smart shots and move the ball quickly on offense, it's amazing what can come from this team."
The Tigers play at Cascade at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and are back home Friday night against Nolensville for the first ever meeting between the schools.
Marshall County 20 16 16 13-65
Page 21 9 12 11-53
Marshall County (65): D'Andre Brown 21, K.J. Johnson 19, Caleb Fields 11, LaMarcus Dodson 6, Tre Crutcher 4, Keshun Gentry 2, Keevon Maxwell 2
3-point goals (6): Brown 3, Johnson 3
Page (53): Isaiah Forrest 11, Nick Burns 10, Trey Haney 8, Darrian James 8, Will Pierce 7, Danyale Jones 6, Peyton Wiggington 2, Jack Satterfield 1
3-point goals (3): Forrest 3
Halftime score: Marshall County 36, Page 30