Tigerettes remain in thick of district race
After a 41-31 win at longtime arch rival Giles County on Tuesday, the Marshall County Tigerettes got back on the yellow bus Friday for a trip to Unionville where they made it two District 12-AA wins a row via a 41-30 win over the Viqueens.
“We were real solid in the first half,” MCHS coach David Steely said. “The second half wasn’t as bad as it looked because I wasn’t that interested in having to score because we were up fourteen.”
“Overall it was a big game for us because they had beaten us at home in game that we led for most of the game,” Steely said. “We came out tonight and controlled the situation and led the whole game.”
Kelsey Keiler stepped up big for Marshall County with a game-high 16 points and knocked down 6-of-7 from the free throw line.
“Kelsey played real well tonight,” Steely said. “It’s been coming and it’s gonna come more often.”
Freshman Claire Woods also had a big game with eight points and Leah Hollingsworth scored 7, Alli Hobbs 6, Hannah Davis 4, and Demariae Ingram added two markers.
Marshall County got back-to-back baskets in the low post to start the game from Davis and Hobbs and a Keiler bucket gave MCHS an early 7-3 lead before Community cut the margin to one point on a Jaley Vincent 3-pointer with 3:18 remaining in the first quarter.
The Tigerettes responded with six straight points to up their lead to 14-6, but an Anna Katherine Lemmons basket in the paint stopped the MCHS run momentarily as Ingram scored her only basket of the game at the end of the period to give the Tigerettes a 16-9 lead.
Keiler stole the ball to begin the second period and fed Hollingsworth for a 3-pointer and after a Community missed shot, Woods scored on a layup to open up a 12-point lead.
“Leah is our go-to player, but Kelsey is our second option and can do a little bit of everything by playing in the high post, shoot the three, and catch it in the post, so it was good,” Steely said. “I’ve been waiting on that game where a lot of it comes together and some of it did tonight, so it was good to see her play well, feel good about herself and provide us some offense.”
Gracie Simmons, who led Community in the scoring column with 10 points, scored for the Viqueens, but the Tigerettes scored on another Woods bucket followed by a Hobbs basket off a pretty pass from Ingram to make it a 25-11 contest.
“That’s three games in a row Claire has come in and provided different things other people don’t do or do as well,” Steely said. “She is a fearless player, she will drive it in there and shoot a jump shot , she will shoot a three and she knows how to do things.”
“She still makes some freshman mistakes, but she has a lot of guts and is a real good player and will be even a better player as she gets older.”
The two squads played even at 6-6 for the remainder of the second period as the Tigerettes took a 31-17 lead to the break.
In the third period, Marshall County took the air out of the ball to try to make Community work extra hard to come back and it worked as both teams combined for six points in the quarter and the Tigerettes took a 33-21 lead to the final eight minutes.
A Davis bucket in the low post with less than three minutes left to play in the game gave MCHS a 14-point lead before the Viqueens attempted a comeback.
Community scored seven straight points and were helped out as the Tigerettes missed the front end of a one-and-one twice before Woods and Hollingsworth made one free throw apiece and that was followed by a Hollingsworth steal and score to seal the deal.
“Leah Hollingsworth was really, really good defensively tonight,” Steely said. “We had a game plan and she executed it perfect and caused four or five turnovers just on her defense.”
“We are getting a lot of contributions from everybody and getting better as the year goes on.”
The Tigerettes (15-4, 3-2) have a big week with three games, beginning with a 48-37 win at Murfreesboro Central Magnet (3-15, 0-5) on Monday and at Nolensville (15-5, 4-1) on Thursday before they return to Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium on Friday for a big re-match with intra-county rival Forrest (14-6, 5-1).
“That Nolensville/Forrest back-to-back will be a little hard on us, but it is kind of like tournaments where you play back-to-back, so we have to get ready for that,” Steely said. “They are two really good teams, so hopefully we can keep playing better and if we do that, things will end up OK for us.”
Marshall County 16 15 2 8-41
Community 9 8 4 9-30
Marshall County (41): Kelsey Keiler 16, Claire Woods 8, Leah Hollingsworth 7, Alli Hobbs 6, Hannah Davis 4, Demariae Ingram 2.
Free Throws (10-for-16): Keiler 6-for-7, Hollingsworth 3-for-4, Woods 1-for-2, Davis 0-for-2, Ingram 0-for-1.
3-Point Goals (1): Hollingsworth.
Community (30): Gracie Simmons 10, Kaylin Ferrell 7, Jaley Vincent 7, Kizzey Lane 3, Anna Katherine Lemmons 3.
Free Throws (6-for-8): Vincent 4-for-4, Ferrell 1-for-1, Lemmons 1-for-1, Simmons 0-for-2.
3-Point Goals (2): Vincent, Lane.
Halftime Score: Marshall County 31, Community 17.