Tigerettes claim huge region road win
After a loss to a Nolensville squad that it had beaten just a week in a half prior, the MCHS Tigerettes (21-7) were given a seeming death sentence by way of a two and a half bus ride to Dover to take on a Stewart County (23-5) team that had lost just five times this season, with two coming against district champ Creek Wood and two coming against 3A squads Clarksville (21-9) and 10-AAA champ Henry County (25-6).
By the end of Friday night, however, the depth and talent of District 12-AA was on full display as seeds one through four swept District 11-AA, including the Tigerettes’ 'dominance of Stewart County, outscoring the Lady Rebels in three out of the four quarters.
"We got it tied back up at the half," MCHS David Steely said. "We were down seven with a few minutes to go in the second quarter and made a little run to tie it back up at the half.”
“That stretch right there was the biggest stretch as there was in the game for us. We were struggling a little bit and from that little stretch on, we controlled the game."
The Rebels enacted the widely used strategy of stopping leading scorer Leah Hollingsworth and let the other players beat you--and for the second straight game, the Tigerettes’ other players all chipped in to provide balanced scoring while Hollingsworth continued to be a defensive leader.
Demarie Ingram and freshman Claire Woods scored nine points apiece, while Kelsey Keiler and Hannah Davis added seven, and Alli Hobbs chipped in six points and seven rebounds.
"We didn't really see ourselves as the underdog tonight," Keiler, who also added six rebounds and two assists, said. "We knew that if we came out and played hard, did what we were taught to do that we were very capable of beating this team."
The Lady Rebels were led by Holli Shepard with 12 points, the only Stewart County player in double figures.
The Tigerettes held the Rebels to its fourth lowest scoring output of the season, two of which (Creek Wood and McKenzie) ended in Stewart County losses.
"We didn't put anything new in defensively," Steely said. "We knew that number 20 (Shepard) and number 25 (McKenzie Wallace) were their two best players and we were going to try and match-up with them the best we could and just do what we've been coached to do this whole season."
Offense was at a premium in the first period, which turned out to be the only quarter Stewart County outscored the Tigerettes.
Ingram and Davis provided the lone Marshall County buckets while Shepard, Anna Gray, and Peanut White all scored a basket to give the Lady Rebels a 6-4 lead.
Shepard got on track in the second quarter with six points and a Wallace triple gave Stewart County a seven-point lead with just over three minutes remaining in the half.
A triple by Woods and inside buckets from Davis and Hobbs combined with two Karlye Wiser free throws tied the game at 16-16 at the intermission.
Ingram and Keiler chipped in five points each in the third period and Marshall County went into the final period up by one point.
Hollingsworth finally broke free to gain her only basket of the game, from long range, to set off a scoring spurt that included five other Marshall County players scoring to give the Tigerettes the 43-36 win heading into the region semifinals at Nolensville versus Community.
"We know them and they know us," Steely said about Community. "There won't be a whole lot of surprises. They are a little healthier now and they are playing all three big girls. But they're playing their best basketball and we're playing our best basketball right now and I like that."
Stewart County 6 10 11 9-36
Marshall County 4 12 12 15-43
Stewart County (36): Holli Shepard 12, McKenzie Wallace 6, Anna Gray 5, Peanut White 5, Brittani Rowlett 5, Kyanne Crockbill 2, McKenzie Smith 1.
3-Point goals (3): White, Wallace, Gray.
Marshall County (43): Demarie Ingram 9, Claire Woods 9, Hannah Davis 7, Kelsey Keiler 7, Alli Hobbs 6, Leah Hollingsworth 3, Karlye Wiser 2.
3-Point goals (2): Hollingsworth, Woods.
Halftime Score: Marshall County 16, Stewart County 16.