MBA leaves Lewisburg with a win

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Caleb Fields had two big dunks for the Tigers, who lost 62-60 to MBA Friday night at Lewisburg.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

In a rare meeting between Division I and Division II schools, the Marshall County Tigers hosted the Montgomery Bell Academy Big Red Friday night in Lewisburg.

The Big Red had won three-out-of-four meetings between the two schools since 2001 and the Nashville all boys academy made it four wins in a row over the Tigers with a nail-biting 62-60 win.

“We didn’t close the deal on them like we should have,” MCHS coach Lavon King said. “When we had that five or six point lead I thought if we made a basket we could close them out, but we made some turnovers down the stretch that ended up hurting us in the end.”

The Tigers’ (9-3) leading scorer was KJ Johnson with 26 points, including five 3-pointers, while the Big Red (5-1) was led in scoring by Thomas Carr with a game-high 31 points and four treys.

The contest was close the entire 32 minutes with the Tigers taking an early 11-9 lead midway through the first quarter on a Caleb Fields drive to the hoop.

Fields made it 16-13 a couple of possessions later on another drive down the lane, before MBA scored five straight to end the first quarter on a Miles Versa 3-pointer and an Alexander Roberts follow on the glass for an 18-16 lead.

Fields tied the game on a slam dunk to start the second period to kick off an 11-3 run for the Tigers that included a pair of Johnson 3-pointers.

Canelius Turner drills a 3-pointer in the second quarter for the Tigers.

MBA stormed back with an 8-0 run to tie the contest, but MCHS finished the first half on a pair of Marcus Dodson buckets in the paint and a Canelius Turner 3-pointer for a 36-31 lead.

A Johnson jumper, followed by another Turner 3-pointer to begin the second half gave the Tiger a 10-point lead, but once again the Big Red came back with a 13-4 run, cutting the lead to one point on a Carr bucket in the paint with three minutes left in the third period.

MBA eventually took a 48-47 lead on a couple more Carr baskets before a Devon Wilson 3-pointer near the third quarter buzzer seesawed the lead back to the Tigers at 50-48.

Early in the fourth quarter, Fields stole the ball and finished with a slam dunk and after a MBA missed field goal, Johnson scored to make it a 54-48 contest.

Carr came up with a bucket to stop the mini-run, but with 4:29 left in the game Johnson buried another trey and Marshall County led 57-50.

The Big Red came up with a huge 10-2 run that was capped off by a Versa 3-pointer with under two minutes remaining in the game to take a 60-59 lead

With 1:33 left to play Dodson, hit one-of-two from the free throw line to tie the game and MBA decided to hold the ball until they called timeout at the 33.6 second mark.

After the stoppage the Big Red swung the ball to the corner where Carr was waiting to launch a 3-pointer and he was fouled on his attempt, sending the MBA senior to the free throw line for three shots with just 2.3 seconds remaining in the contest.

Carr buried two-of-three and the Tigers could not get a good shot off and the game ended.

“MBA was a fundamentally sound team offensively and defensively, getting a lot of cuts off screens and trying to give help and there were some good things we needed to see that will help us down the stretch,” King said.

The Tigers took on Clarksville Northeast (10-1) in the Zaxby’s Classic at Kenwood High School in Clarksville last night.

“That will be more of our style of play, they have just a little bit bigger guys than us, so we will be in there banging and competing,” King said. “It’s always good to have a little bad taste in your mouth, so that should be good.”

MBA 18 13 17 14-62

MCHS 16 20 14 10-60

MBA (62): Thomas Carr 31, Will Nutter 14, Miles Versa 7, Alexander Roberts 6, Drew Weikert 4

3-point Goals (6): Carr 4, Versa 2

Free Throws (5-for-8): Carr 3-for-4, Weikert 2-for-2, Versa 1-for-2

MCHS (60): KJ Johnson 26, Caleb Fields 14, Lamarcus Dodson 11, Canelius Turner 6, Devon Wilson 3

3-point Goals (7): Johnson 5, Turner, Wilson

Free Throws (4-for-7): Fields 2-for-3, Johnson 1-for-2, Dodson 1-for-2

Halftime Score: MCHS 36, MBA 31