Tigerettes fall to Giles County in D12AA semifinal

Friday, February 24, 2017
Kimberlyn Greer knocks down a long 2-pointer as time winds down against Giles County on Saturday night at Page High School.
Tribune photos by Mike Inglsbee

Coming off an impressive 22-point win over Nolensville in the opening round of the District 12AA Tournament, the MCHS Tigerettes met Giles County for the third time this season with a district championship game berth on the line.

Already shorthanded with Demarie Ingram and Sydne Solomon out for the season with injuries, the Tigerettes were dealt another devastating blow hours before tipoff when freshman wing Kelsey Keiler, coming off a career-high 18 points versus Nolensville, was deemed inactive for the contest from concussion symptoms suffered in the late stages against the Lady Knights.

"We just found out a couple hours before we were going to play that Kelsey was out," MCHS coach David Steely said. "So we were thinking she was playing and then two or three hours before the game we learn she can't play. That was kind of deflating. I told them we had to put it all on the line and respond and they did a pretty good job of that."

With scoring options at a premium, the Tigerettes hung close for the better part of the first quarter but were never able to get in a groove before ultimately losing 58-37.

The Tigerettes were led by Zachuriya O'Neal with nine points, five rebounds, and three assists and Leah Hollingsworth with seven points, four rebounds, and two assists.

Freshman forward Hannah Davis continues to get better as the season wears on, turning in a near double-double with nine points and nine rebounds after grabbing a career-high 15 boards and scoring seven points against Nolensville on Thursday.

"It finally clicked in my head that I'm athletic and I have the ability to be more physical," Davis stated. "So I've been working harder in practice and putting it all out on the floor."

Leah Hollingsworth buries a 3-pointer to start the second half of the Tigerettes’ semifinal game against Giles County on Saturday.

The Tigerettes played lock down defense for the majority of the first quarter, not allowing a point until two Giles County free throws at the 4:21 mark of the first quarter.

Marshall County took its first and only lead of the contest on an O'Neal three-point play on the next possession, but a Erin Freeman jumper pushed the lead to 8-3 and a Mary Kathryn Bruce triple at the first quarter buzzer gave the Bobcats a 13-3 lead after the first quarter.

Allie Hobbs scored five points in the second quarter to keep the Tigerettes’ hope's alive temporarily, but Bruce drained two triples in the period while Freeman and Tei Hollingsworth scored four points apiece to extend the Bobcat’s lead to 28-12 at the break.

The second half was the Erin Freeman show as the sharpshooting point guard scored 11 points in each of the two final quarters to finish with 30 points in a game that was never really in question after the first period.

"Freeman is really good," Steely said. "They're a really tough matchup for us. Their quickness and athleticism just really gets to us. Against them it's usually about turnovers and bad decisions."

"But we played hard the whole game," Steely added. "For the most part we played hard every possession and we were just out manned."

Marshall County 3 9 11 14-37

Giles County 13 15 16 14-58

Marshall County (37): Zachuriya O'Neal 9, Hannah Davis 9, Leah Hollingsworth 7, Allie Hobbs 7, Alexia Udell 3, Kimberlyn Greer 2

3-point goals (2): Hollingsworth, Udell

Giles County (58): Erin Freeman 30, Mary Kathryn Bruce 9, Taylor McNairy 7, Tei Hollingsworth 6, Bianca Malone 3, Jensen Harper 2, Jayla White 1

3-point goals (4): Bruce 3, Freeman

Halftime score: Giles County 28, Marshall County 12