Tigers rest starters in loss to Lawrence County

Friday, February 3, 2017
Donathon Tears, who had eight points for the Tigers, knocks down a first quarter jumper in Marshall County's 64-56 loss to Lawrence County Monday night at Lewisburg. Tribune photo by Anthony S. Puca

Before the game, both coaches decided that with some tough district games looming it was in their best interests for both ball clubs to rest many starters in a non-conference matchup between Marshall County and Lawrenceburg at Lewisburg Monday night.

Lawrence County came away with 64-56 win as Caleb Fields, Jay Howard, Tre Crutcher and D'Andre Brown all sat on the pine.

"I rested some of guys and some of the guys who wanted to play, I let them play," MCHS Arnett Bodenhamer said. "You always have to prepare yourself to be ready, so tonight they got that opportunity for four quarters."

"This is why we practice, everybody wants to play, but are you doing the things to play."

Sophomore southpaw DJ Johnson did not rest and he turned in another solid effort, scoring a game-high 20 points, including two 3-pointers and a 2-for-4 performance from the free throw line.

Quavion Harris was also in doubles with 10 points, while Donathon Tears had eight, Keshum Gentry tallied seven, Dayveonte Brown added six, and Keevon Maxwell scored five.

"Me and coach (Lawrence County coach Shaen Clark) talked before the game and he has a tough game and we have a tough game, so we gave the young guys an opportunity to play and that's fine, our guys needed that," Bodenhamer said. "When you got the opportunity you have to take advantage of it."

"If Mr. Bush (MCHS Principal John Bush) ever allowed me to be principal, I gotta be the best principal I can be that day so he will ask me to do it again, do you see what I'm saying," Bodenhamer stated.

The Wildcats had four players' notch double-digits in the scoring column with big man Keinan Mendez leading the way with 17 points.

Ian Gulley had 15, Hunter Hagan scored 12, Tanner Staggs 10, Garrett Martin added five, and Sam Crane had a single marker.

The Wildcats came out strong, scoring seven straight points to start the contest before Harris finally got the Tigers on the scoreboard via a jumper in the lane with 5:38 remaining in the first quarter.

The Lawrence County lead went to eight points at 16-8 with just over two minutes to play in the stanza when Gentry scored the next three points to tighten up the score.

Mendez pounded in a bucket in the low post and the first quarter ended on a Johnson 3-pointer, making it an 18-14 contest in favor of the Wildcats.

Harris scored in the low post to begin the second period, cutting the Lawrence County lead to two points, but from there the Tigers only scored three additional points in the period, while the Cats put up 15 to take a 33-19 lead at the half.

Johnson scored eight and Gentry and Harris added four points apiece in a high scoring third period won by the Wildcats 20-18.

After the two squads traded buckets to begin the fourth quarter, a Dayveonte Brown 3-pointer ignited a Marshall County 8-0 run to slice the Wildcats' lead to 56-47 with five minutes remaining in the contest.

Hagan drilled a 3-pointer to squelch the Tiger burst and the Wildcats preceded to build their lead back up to 13 points at 61-48 with 2:35 to play in the game.

The Tigers clawed back once again behind five points by Maxwell, including a three-bomb.

A Lawrence County turnover led to a Tears rebound and put-back to make it a six-point game at 62-56, but the Tigers ran out of time after Moore buried both ends of a one-and-one opportunity from the free throw line.

The Tigers (12-10, 4-4) hosted Cascade last night and travel to Spring Hill on Friday (1-18, 1-5) and Page (10-8, 3-4) next Tuesday for a tough stretch of District 12AA games.

Lawrence County 18 15 20 11-64

Marshall County 14 15 18 19-56

Lawrence County (64): Keinan Mendez 17, Ian Gulley 15, Hunter Hogan 12, Tanner Staggs 10, Garrett Martin 5, Sam Crane 1

3-point goals (5): Gulley 2, Hogan 2, Martin

Free throws (4-for-6): Gulley 2-for-2, Crane 1-for-2, Mendez 1-for-2

Marshall County (56): KJ Johnson 20, Quavion Harris 10, Donathon Tears 8, Keshum Gentry 7, Dayveonte Brown 6, Keevon Maxwell 5

3-point goals (5): Johnson 2, Brown 2, Maxwell

Free throws (3-for-6): Johnson 2-for-4, Gentry 1-for-2

Halftime score: Lawrence County 33, Marshall County 29