Tigerettes look strong in district opener

Friday, January 11, 2019
Demariae Ingram (15), seen here driving past three Community defenders, scored a game-high 21 points for the Tigerettes.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Watch out for the Tigerettes!

The Lewisburg girls travelled to Unionville Tuesday night for the District 12-AA opener for both ball clubs and they battled in a close contest for three quarters, before the Tigerettes erupted in a huge fourth quarter assault to win going away 52-37 and extend their winning streak to 10 games.

“I’m proud of how we played and how we responded because we really haven’t had to respond much this year from being behind and we responded real good after being behind 10-2 and we were able to pull away down the stretch,” MCHS coach David Steely said. “Like always, our defense took us to a win down the stretch.”

Marshall County (15-3, 1-0) was led by senior point guard Demariae Ingram, who turned in an outstanding effort on both ends of the floor, scoring a game-high 21 points, while leading a tenacious Tigerette defense.

Ingram was also was solid at the free throw line, draining 11-of-15 from the charity stripe.

“Our senior point guard made the difference tonight and I’m really proud of her,” Steely said. “She has cut down on her turnovers this year and has really taken care of the ball, she is running the show for us and she is the girl that makes us go this year.”

“Last year she would get a little wild on us, but she just has not done that this year, she is under control and doesn’t turn the ball over.”

Freshman Israel Hurt came up with 10 points in the low post, Sydney Tidwell made three long bombs for nine points, Dionna Crutcher scored four, Karlye Wiser and Kelsey Keiler added three points apiece, and Hannah Davis netted a deuce.

“That was a big 10 points by Israel Hurt, a big 10 points,” Steely said. “We can do a lot more on defense with her and Hannah…..it’s nice being able to bring Kelsey Keiler out on the perimeter because she is a tough matchup on people.”

Community (10-6, 0-1) had just three players in the scoring column as Anna Katherine Lemmons had a team-high 16, Gracie Simmons scored 15, and Jesa Moore had a pair of 3-pointers for six points.

Moore’s two 3-pointers may have been their only made outside shots by Community as Lemmons and Simmons scored all of their points in the low post.

The Viqueens jumped out to an early 10-2 first quarter lead behind Moore’s first trey and some inside work by Lemmons and Simmons.

The Tigerettes turned up the defensive pressure and shutout the Viqueens for the remainder of the period, while scoring seven points, including all four of Crutcher’s points in the contest.

Ingram stole the ball and scored at the outset of the second period and after a Community missed shot, Ingram drove to the rack for two more points.

Sydney Tidwell hits the second of her back-to-back 3-pointers in the Tigerettes’ 52-37 win at Community Tuesday night.

The offenses started to heat up as Unionville continued its low post attack, while Tidwell made back-to-back 3-pointers to edge the Tigerettes in front 17-14.

Moore’s second 3-pointer sparked a 5-0 run for the Viqueens and a 22-17 lead before MCHS went on a 6-0 burst as Hurt scored her first bucket of the game on a low post move and Ingram added four points to push the Tigerettes back in front 23-22.

Lemmons was fouled near the end of the period and made two free throws to give Community a 24-23 lead at the half.

Dionna Crutcher races in for a layup after Demariae Ingram fed her off a steal in the first quarter.

Davis knocked in her only bucket of the game to begin the second half and Ingram and Lemmons traded buckets before Tidwell went downtown to give the Tigerettes a four-point lead at 30-26.

Ingram was fouled a couple of possessions later and made two free throws to push the Tigerettes’ lead to six points, but Community stormed back with a 7-2 run to take a 33-32 lead with a minute and half remaining in the third period.

Hurt scored in the paint to seesaw the lead back to Marshall County and Ingram made 1-of-2 from the free throw line with just seconds remaining to make it a 35-33 contest, entering the fourth quarter.

Hurt inflicted some serious damage at the outset of the final period, bookending low post baskets around a long Wiser 3-pointer as the Tigerettes built a seven-point lead with 2:59 remaining in the contest.

Lemmon scored to break the MCHS run, but that was the Viqueens’ final points of the night as the Tigerettes finished the game off at the free throw line, with Ingram and Keiler combining for a backbreaking 7-for-8 effort from the charity stripe to seal the 15-point win.

The Tigerettes travel to Murfreesboro Central Magnet (0-11, 0-1) tonight before returning home to Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium in Lewisburg for an intra-county rival district game with Forrest (12-5, 1-0) on Tuesday.

“I reminded them already, remember we went over there last year and didn’t play real well and almost got beat,” Steely said. “If we go play well we will be fine, we will get ready for that and then get ready for next week.”

Marshall County 7 16 12 17-52

Community 10 14 9 4-37

Marshall County (52): Demariae Ingram 21, Israel Hurt 10, Sydney Tidwell 9, Dionna Crutcher 4, Karlye Wiser 3, Kelsey Keiler 3, Hannah Davis 2.

3-Point Goals (4): Tidwell 3, Wiser 1.

Free Throws (16-for-21): Ingram 11-for-15, Keiler 3-for-4, Crutcher 2-for-2.

Community (37): Anna Katherine Lemmons 16, Gracie Simmons 15, Jesa Moore 6.

3-Point Goals (2): Moore 2.

Free Throws (5-for-8): Lemmons 4-for-5, Simmons 1-for-3.

Halftime Score: Community 24, Marshall County 23.