Tigerettes down Viqueens to keep pace with Nolensville

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
The 2018-2019 MCHS Basketball Homecoming Court from left are, Hunter Lancaster, Mary Clayton Beech, Dawson Hammons, Taylor Hartley, Mitchell Ford, Makayla Johnson, Queen Demariae Ingram, Peyton Dollar, Taylor Poteete, Dylan Hazard, Kimberlyn Greer, and Roshan Desai.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Marshall County Tigerettes needed a win over Community in Friday night’s homecoming game at Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium in Lewisburg to keep pace with Nolensville and they got it done with a hard fought 33-29 win.

The Tigerettes held the Viqueens to their lowest scoring output of the season in a defensive effort reminiscent of the days when Danica “The Glove” Hopkins roamed the Lewisburg hardwoods for head coach David Steely’s championship squad of 2008.

“Both teams had real good plans on how to stop the other one,” Steely said. “Just two teams that are starting to know each other real well and have played several times the last two years and we were both able to take each other’s streaks away.”

Community’s low post duo of Anna Katherine Lemmons and Gracie Simmons were held to 14 points combined and the Tigerettes stopped the Viqueens from scoring 10 points in three out of the four quarters.

“I told them at halftime if we hold them to 15 again I think we will win and we did it.” Steely said. “I was really proud of our defense, we did a good job of taking their big girls away and that’s what we wanted to do.”

“But also not just letting their shooters shoot and game-plan wise, that’s also what we wanted to do.”

Demariae Ingram led all scorers in the contest with 14 points and Kelsey Keiler was also in double figures with 12 points for Marshall County.

The Tigerettes lone flaw in the contest was a poor free throw shooting night percentage wise as they went 8-for-19 from the charity stripe, including a 5-for-14 effort in the fourth quarter that allowed Community to stay in the game until the final buzzer.

Kelsey Keiler knocks down a short jumper off the glass in the first quarter for the Tigerettes, who beat Community 33-29 Friday night at Lewisburg.

Every single possession in the game was hotly contested from the outset as the Tigerettes managed their lone 10-point scoring quarter of the game in the first period behind six points by Ingram and four by Keiler to take a 10-6 lead.

“I’m enjoying this team and how they play, they are taking on my style and I love that,” Steely said. “It’s my third year back, so it is finally reaching a point where they truly understand and believe in the system and you can see that in how they play.”

Ingram had all six of Marshall County’s points in the second quarter during the first four minutes of the period as the Tigerettes took a 16-8 lead before Community mounted a comeback.

Lemmons scored six of her nine points in the game during the comeback as the Viqueens finished with a 7-0 run to end the first half with Marshall County in front by one point at 16-15.

Community scratched its way back, tying the game twice in the third period before taking their first lead of the game at 23-22 on a Briana Beech 3-pointer and after a Tigerette miscue, Logan Brothers scored to give the Viqueens a three-point lead with 2:39 remaining in the stanza.

The only basket the rest of the period came on a late rebound and put-back by Dionna Crutcher that made it a one-point game at 25-24 in favor of the Viqueens, heading to the fourth quarter.

Keiler kicked off the final stanza with a basket to seesaw the lead back to MCHS and one Hannah Davis free throw moments later gave the Tigerettes a 27-25 lead.

Beech tied the game at 27, but the fouls started to mount for the Viqueens as Keiler headed to the free throw line twice and made 1-of-2 on both trips as Marshall County led 29-27 with three and a half minutes to go in the game.

Dionna Crutcher nails a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to put the Tigerettes up by five points.

Both squads forced the other team into turnovers on four consecutive trips down the floor and after a five-second call on the Tigerettes, Crutcher came up with the defensive play of the game when she stole the rock before draining a 3-pointer to give MCHS a five-point lead with 2:32 remaining in the game and force a Community timeout.

Both teams missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity from the free throw line as the game moved inside of a minute mark when the Tigerettes could not put the game away from the charity stripe, missing two more front end tries.

The Viqueens took advantage as Simmons scored in the low post and was fouled with 24.3 seconds left in the game.

Simmons missed the free throw and the Tigerettes got a tie-up on the floor to take possession.

Sydney Tidwell hits a free throw in the fourth quarter with 12.5 seconds left to make it two possession game.

Sydney Tidwell went to the line for two shots and buried the all-important first free throw to make it a two-possession game.

Tidwell missed the second free throw, but it didn’t matter as the Tigerettes held defensively to win the game and remain tied for first place in the District 12-AA standings with Nolensville.

“I’m just proud of the grind it out win,” Steely said. “Sydney Tidwell and Dionna Crutcher made shots at the end to win the game for us and that will give them confidence and it makes us harder to guard when they have the confidence to take the shots.”

Community 6 9 10 4-29

Marshall County 10 6 8 9-33

Community (29): Anna Katherine Lemmons 9, Briana Beech 9, Gracie Simmons 5, Logan Brothers 3, Jesa Moore 3.

3-Point Goals (2): Beech, Moore.

Free Throws (5-for-9): Lemmons 3-for-3, Simmons 1-for-4, Brothers 1-for-2.

Marshall County (33): Demariae Ingram 14, Kelsey Keiler 12, Dionna Crutcher 5, Sydney Tidwell 1, Hannah Davis 1.

3-Point Goals (1): Crutcher.

Free Throws (8-for-19): Keiler 4-for-9, Ingram 2-for-5, Tidwell 1-for-2, Davis 1-for-2, Crutcher 0-for-1.

Halftime Score: Marshall County 16, Community 15.