Tigerettes take care of business, earn region berth
The Marshall County Tigerettes took care of business in a big way Monday night at Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium in Lewisburg, hammering Murfreesboro Central Magnet 55-33 in a District 12-AA Tournament first-round satellite contest.
With the win, the Tigerettes (19-6) earned a berth in the Region 6-AA Tournament next week at Nolensville, but before that Marshall County has a rubber game matchup versus the Lady Knights (18-7) in Thursday’s second district tournament semifinal game at Giles County with tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“One of our goals is to go further than we went last year and that is to win a game in the region, so where we finish in the (district) tournament will affect that quite a bit,” Marshall County coach David Steely said. “We are not looking to finish fourth I’ll tell you, we will take our chances with Nolensville and move on to the next game and I know it will be tough, but I think we can beat any team in the district on any given night.”
The two teams split the regular season series with both winning on their respective home courts by a margin of no more than six points.
“That’s gonna be a tough, physical matchup, it’s the rubber match like you said, they won the first one, we won the second one and they both went down to the wire and I kinda think this one will be similar,” Steely said. “I think we are playing our best right now, we played better tonight than we have all year.”
“We are on three-game win streak and we are just playing as a team better because different people are stepping up every night and that’s good for us when we see that.”
Forrest (18-7) takes on Community (16-11) in the other semifinal.
The Tigerettes came out on fire Monday night, ripping out to a big first quarter as Kelsey Keiler scored seven, Hannah Davis six, Leah Hollingsworth 5, and Alli Hobbs two points that resulted in a 20-8 Marshall County lead after the first eight minutes.
“That is what I am most proud of tonight, we came out instantly in the first possession, the first few minutes and served notice that we were here to play and we were going to be better than you tonight,” Steely said. “We came out and executed and got a ten-point lead real quick, so I am proud of the way we started because we have struggled with that this year.”
A Caroline Dykes 3-pointer opened up the scoring in the second quarter for Murfreesboro Central Magnet, but that was the last time the Lady Tigers scored in the first half.
“We were trying to make them shoot tough shots and know what they were trying to do,” Steely said. “Our goal was to try to limit their best players’ looks and switching on all their handoffs and screens.”
After a Davis low post move for a bucket for the Tigerettes, Hollingsworth took over, putting away the Lady Tigers via a pair of swipe and scores and a long 3-pointer that resulted in a 29-11 halftime lead for MCHS.
Another Hollingsworth 3-pointer late in the third period gave Marshall County a 20-point lead at 36-16 before a Grace Beane basket and a Natalie Anderson 3-pointer cut the Tigerettes’ lead to 15 at the end of the stanza.
Marshall County put the stamp on the win at the outset of the fourth quarter via a Davis bucket, followed by a Keiler cleanup job in the low post and capped off on a Karlye Wiser 3-bomb that made it 43-21 before Steely cleared the bench.
Davis’ game-high 17 points were followed by 15 by Hollingsworth and 11 from Keiler.
Claire Woods and Wiser netted three, while Hobbs, Sydney Tidwell, and Abby McGehee all tallied a deuce.
MCM 8 3 10 12-33
MCHS 20 9 7 19-55
MCM (25): Caroline Dykes 11, Natalie Anderson 7, Kathryn Hays 6, Abigail Sandman 3, Ashley Dyer 2, Sydney Copeland 2, Grace Beane 2.
Free Throws (3-for-5): Anderson 2-for-2, Sandman 1-for-3.
3-Point goals (5): Dykes 2, Hays 2, Anderson.
Marshall County (55): Hannah Davis 17, Leah Hollingsworth 15, Kelsey Keiler 11, Claire Woods 3, Karlye Wiser 3, Ali Hobbs 2, Sydney Tidwell 2, Abby McGehee 2.
Free Throws (1-for-1): Davis 1-for-1.
3-Point goals (6): Hollingsworth 3, Keiler, Woods, Wiser.
Halftime Score: Marshall County 29, Murfreesboro Central Magnet 11.