Tigers win one for D'Andre against Giles County
Emotions ran high inside Dottie Kelso on Tuesday night as a standing room only crowd showed up not just for the always entertaining biannual Giles-Marshall showdown but to show support for one of its own favorite sons, senior D'Andre Brown, who suited up just three days after the passing of his father Jason Brown, an avid Tiger fan who rarely missed a contest.
On a night where everything went right for the home team in a 67-50 trouncing of the bitter rival from Pulaski, fans were reminded of one of the most important reasons why young men and women play sports, the relationships you build with your teammates and coaches.
"I'm proud of our guys," MCHS coach Arnett Bodenhamer said. "We had a lot to deal with today. I don't think a lot of people know about it but we were on an emotional rollercoaster today. And the kids came out and they wanted this ballgame."
"Tonight we had a little extra something to play for," Bodenhamer continued. "These kids were determined to win this one. They were here for their brother tonight. Hopefully we can continue this throughout the year."
Every Tiger that stepped on the floor Tuesday night played full of energy with many turning in the best game of their seasons. Caleb Fields came up with 10 assists to go along with seven points and Jay Howard chipped in 10 points, four rebounds, a block and a huge steal that turned into a crowd igniting dunk to give the Tigers its biggest lead in the fourth quarter.
K.J. Johnson turned in another huge game with 19 points on five first half 3-pointers, Tre Crutcher added seven points, all which came in a row during a crucial third quarter run and D'Andre Brown played his heart out to finish with 10 points and a team-leading seven rebounds.
"This game wasn't for us, this was for D'Andre," Crutcher, a fellow senior said. "We talked in the locker room about what we wanted to get done and we had to do it for him so in order for us to do that we had to bring the intensity and I felt we brought that."
The Tigers did bring intensity from the get-go as K.J Johnson opened the game with a three and Howard scored on a layup a 5-4 lead.
The Bobcats made an early run as Jordan Gilbert scored on a layup and Aspen Bush knocked down the first of his five triples to go up 11-8 with 2:51 left in the opening period.
The lead was the last of the game for the Bobcats as Johnson knocked down a triple for the 12-11 lead and 24 seconds later nailed another trifecta from the top of the key to put the Tigers up 15-11.
On the Tigers' next possession, Johnson continued his heat check with an off balanced jumper with a foot touching the 3-point line for a six point lead before LaMarcus Dotson drove home a heavily contested layup with three seconds left in the first period for a 19-11 edge.
The second period belonged to D'Andre, who after yet another Johnson 3-pointer, scored six straight points to push the lead to 30-23 following an old fashioned three-point play.
Johnson provided the coup de grace to end the first half as the sophomore gunslinger nailed a standstill 3-pointer from two steps over half court with a Giles County defender in his face for the 33-25 lead.
"I just looked at the basket at the last minute and I just tried to keep my form straight and I just hoped it went in," Johnson laughed.
The Tigers onslaught continued into the third quarter as Crutcher scored two quick layups and knocked down a triple from the corner to push the lead to 40-31 with five minutes remaining.
The Bobcats cut the lead down to five on a Stephen Wade layup, but the Tigers answered with a Keevon Maxwell three, a Fields layup and a Johnson jumper to stretch the lead 47-35.
Bush countered with a triple at the other end, but Fields drove towards the hoop and kicked the ball out to Dayveontae Brown, who calmly knocked down the trifecta as the third quarter horn sounded for a convincing 50-38 Tiger lead.
K.J. Zeigler started off the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer for the Bobcats, but Donathan Tears answered on the other end with a layup before Howard jumped in front of a Giles County pass and finished at the other end with an one-handed stuff for a 16-point advantage.
The lead swelled and in a moment much bigger than the win, coach Bodenhamer sent in a substitute for Brown, who walked off the court to a standing ovation from the Marshall County crowd and was embraced by each teammate on the bench.
A fitting end for a perfect game.
The Tigers now set their sights on a feat that none of the players on the roster have ever accomplished--a win versus CPA.
"If we do what we're supposed to do we'll be fine," Bodenhamer said. "We're like a heart monitor, we're up and we're down."
The Tigers are in third place in the district 12AA standings and with a win over the Lions, MCHS could overtake Cascade for second place in a rematch on Tuesday in Lewisburg
"We don't need to play a perfect game. but we have to play good defense and stop them from shooting so many three's," Johnson said. "We need to make our easy baskets and just play together as a team like we did tonight."
Giles County 11 14 13 12-50
Marshall County 19 14 17 17-67
Giles County (50): Aspen Bush 24, Jordan Gilbert 10, K.J. Zeigler 7, Stephen Wade 4, Kobe Bledsoe 3, Delmar Gentry 2
3-point goals (6): Bush 5, Zeigler
Marshall County (67): K.J. Johnson 19, D'Andre Brown 10, Jay Howard 10, Caleb Fields 7, Tre Crutcher 7, LaMarcus Dodson 6, Keevon Maxwell 3, Dayveontae Brown 3, Donathan Tears 2
3-point goals (8): Johnson 5, Maxwell, Day. Brown, Crutcher
Halftime score: Marshall County 33, Giles County 25