Shorthanded Tigerettes just miss road win

Friday, February 2, 2018
Kelsey Keiler (21) drives to the basket for two of her game-high 17 points.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Marshall County Tigerettes traveled to Nolensville Thursday without Hannah Davis and had a hobbled Alli Hobbs, but still came within four points of beating the first-place Lady Knights in a tough 51-47 loss.

“We had our chance with some adversity,” MCHS coach David Steely said. “It was a good game and I am proud of how we played with some tough situations, but you don’t get that chance very often and you have to win some of those games.”

Only three Tigerettes scored in the contest with Kelsey Keiler leading the way with 17 points, while Leah Hollingsworth and Claire Woods added 15 points apiece.

Marshall County scratched and clawed the entire game and led late before a bad pass led to a Parker Leftwich steal and score.

Leftwich did the same thing to Forrest two nights earlier, changing the game with a back-to-back swipe and scores to begin the fourth quarter in the Lady Rockets’ two-point loss at Nolensville.

“She (Leftwich) has the natural instinct of knowing when to go for a steal, seeing it and jumping out there to make a play,” Steely said. “She did that last year as a freshman, we knew that, but she has just gotten better at it.”

The Lady Knights (17-5, 6-1) sit stop the District 12-AA standings, followed by Forrest (14-7, 5-2), Marshall County (16-5, 4-3), Community (12-10, 3-3), Giles County (8-11, 2-4), and Murfreesboro Central Magnet (3-17, 0-7).

Forrest travels to Marshall County tonight for a 6 p.m. tipoff, while the Lady Knights take on Giles County at Pulaski, the site of the upcoming district tournament.

“It will be the biggest crowd of the year for sure, maybe the biggest crowd in years,” Steely said. “I know the Chapel Hill people will come out in force and I know ours will too.”

“Let’s enjoy that environment, let’s keep it good, clean sportsmanship, but cheer for your team.”

Leah Hollingsworth (3) knocks down one of her four 3-pointers at Nolensville Thursday night.

The Tigerettes scored all 12 of their first quarter points by way of the 3-pointer as Hollingsworth and Woods both hit two long bombs apiece, but Nolensville led 15-11 after the first eight minutes.

Marshall County started the second quarter with an 11-4 run with Keiler scoring four points, while Hollingsworth added another 3-pointer and Woods scored on a nice drive to the hoop to make it 23-19.

Nolensville responded with a big move as they reeled off 12 straight points, buoyed by a pair of Caitlin Ladd 3-pointers to lead 31-23 at the half.

MCHS trailed by the same eight-point deficit late in the third quarter at 35-27 when they made an 8-4 mini-run on a Woods bucket, a Hollingsworth trey and three Hollingsworth free throws when she was fouled attempting a long bomb on the last play of the period.

Claire Woods (13) drills one of her three 3-pointers in the 51-47 loss to the Lady Knights.

After a Sydney Mickulin bucket gave Nolensville an early 43-38 fourth quarter edge, the Tigerettes dug in and seized the lead back on a Woods 3-pointer, followed shortly thereafter by a Keiler trey to give Marshall County a 44-43 lead with 3:25 remaining in the game.

There was no scoring for about a minute and a half and the Tigerettes had the ball coming out of a Marshall County timeout when Leftwich came out of nowhere to steal the ball and race in for the go-ahead layup.

The turnover seemed to take the air out of the Tigerettes as Nolensville scored nine more points before Keiler nailed a 3-pointer at the end of the game.

“We finished the game tonight with two freshmen, a sophomore, a junior, and a senior and played most of the game with that lineup,” Steely said. “A lot like Chapel Hill, we have a lot of young kids out there that are going to get better and better and we have to continue to do that.”

Marshall County 12 11 12 12-47

Nolensville 15 16 8 12-51

Marshall County (47): Kelsey Keiler 17, Leah Hollingsworth 15, Claire Woods 15.

Free Throws (7-for-7): Keiler 4-for-4, Hollingsworth 3-for-3.

3-Point Goals (10): Hollingsworth 4, Keiler 3, Woods 3.

Nolensville (51): Zoe Pillar 17, Grace Baird 13, Caitlin Ladd 8, Parker Leftwich 8, Sydney Mickulin 3, Addie Keen 2.

Free Throws (4-for-6): Baird 2-for-2, Pillar 1-for-2, Mickulin 1-for-1, Leftwich 0-for-1.

3-Point Goals (5): Baird 3, Ladd.

Halftime Score: Nolensville 31, Marshall County 23.