Tigerettes claim Region 6-AA title in comeback win
The Marshall County Tigerettes turned back time Thursday night at East Hickman High School as they pulled out a gutty 44-38 comeback win over Creek Wood in the Region 6-AA Tournament title game.
“I’m just so proud of these girls, we finished runner-up last year and won the region this year,” MCHS coach David Steely said. “This wasn’t our prettiest effort, it was ugly, we made a ton of mistakes, but when it came to the fourth quarter again, we had a 15-3 quarter, held them to three points and found a way to win.”
“It took them all, we had big shots early, big shots by different people late, it took everybody playing together, and we put a string of stops together in the fourth quarter and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
Creek Wood was firing on all cylinders from downtown for much of the contest as they made nine 3-pointers for 27 out of the 38 points they scored in the contest coming from beyond the three-point arc.
Allie Burgess led all scorers in the game with 17 points, including four 3-pointers and Emily Michael had 11 points with three treys.
Kelsey Keiler led Marshall County in the scoring column with 12 points, including one 3-pointer and a solid 3-for-4 effort from the free line.
Keiler was voted the Region 6-AA Tournament Most Valuable Player and was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Demariae Ingram and Hannah Davis.
Creek Wood jumped out to a 5-0 start and led by as many as seven points near the end of the first quarter until Ingram scored a late bucket to make it 13-8.
The Lady Red Hawks continued their outside hot streak as they took a 24-14 lead in the second quarter before the Tigerettes began to find some rhythm.
Keiler banged home a 3-pointer and a Karlye Wiser steal led to a Keiler fast break layup off an Ingram pass to make it 24-19.
After a Creek Wood turnover with 3.2 seconds left in the first half, the Tigerettes inbounded the ball that went to Keiler, who found Davis for a layup at the buzzer to slice the Lady Red Hawks’ lead to three points at halftime.
Michael banged home a 3-pointer to start the second half and Taylor followed with another long bomb as the Tigerettes could not score from the field until Davis knocked in a rebound to make it a 30-23 contest.
After a Creek Wood turnover, Wiser drained a long three and the Tigerettes got the ball back on an Ingram blocked shot before Wiser went downtown again to cut the margin to a single digit at 30-29, forcing a Lady Red Hawks’ timeout with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter.
Michael answered with a 3-pointer for Creekwood and after two missed scoring opportunities for the Tigerettes, Anna Edmondson scored on a rebound and put-back to make it 35-29, entering the fourth quarter.
The Tigerettes showed their determination early in the stanza when Davis was fouled and went to the free throw line where she made the first attempt and missed the second, but Ingram came up with a huge rebound and deposited the ball off the glass and through the net.
Two possessions later, Ingram made it a one-point game at 35-34 when she drove down the middle of the lane and flipped the ball in the bucket.
Creek Wood seemed rattled, missing another field goal and Marshall County finally got over the top on a rebound and follow by Keiler that put the Tigerettes in the lead for the first time in game at the 4:55 mark of the fourth period.
The Lady Red Hawks missed again and Keiler took off down the court, finding Davis wide open under the goal for two more points.
“During district time I realized I wasn’t playing like I needed to, I needed to rebound and help my team more and find a way to score,” Davis said. “Honestly, if a post player scores nine or 10 points a game it really helps the team a lot.”
Creekwood called timeout to try to stave off the Tigerettes and it worked momentarily as Burgess hit two free throws after being fouled on a drive to the dish.
Marshall County continued to crash the boards as Ingram scored on a rebound and put-back to make it 40-37.
Burgess drove to the basket again and was awarded two foul shots.
Steely called timeout with 1:37 left in the game before the attempts and Burgess made one of two after the stoppage.
Marshall County ran some valuable time off the clock before Keiler was fouled and she calmly stepped to the free throw line and buried both ends of a one-and-one opportunity with 1:03 left to make it 42-38.
“I wasn’t too nervous, I was just trying to remember everything I do in practice,” Keiler said. “We are really excited about Saturday, we haven’t had a game like this in a long, long time.”
The Marshall County defense was all over the Lady Red Hawks and they burned off 20 seconds before they had to call a timeout with 44.9 ticks left.
They could not convert out of the stoppage and the Tigerettes missed the front end of a bonus try, but Creekwood could not score and Ingram made one free throw to put the game away with 16.7 seconds remaining in the title tilt.
“It turns into a lot of pressure at the end of the game, everyone has to stay focused and keep control of the ball,” Ingram said. “Tonight we really had to keep adjusting because we were behind and had to adjust to everything they were doing.”
“This feels really good, we have been working really hard for this and we are just happy we get to play at home again.”
The last time the Tigerettes won a region championship was in their last state championship season 11 years ago when they blasted Hickman County 48-28 under current head coach David Steely.
The Tigerettes have won state titles in 1972, 1976, 1980, and 2008.
Marshall County (25-7) hosts East Nashville Magnet School (27-4) tonight at the Dottie Kelso Memorial Gymnasium in Lewisburg in a state sectional contest with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m.
“We are going to take our opportunity, we’ll will be ready and we are going to play a great game and maybe find a way for us to go to Murfreesboro,” Steely said. “I’m super proud, we just keeping making climbs as a program to being region champs this year.”
“That’s another step, that’s our twenty-fifth win this year, so all the credit to the girls, they made the plays not me, they did it all tonight.”
Marshall County is 3-2 all-time versus East Nashville with the last meeting coming in the 2015 season that resulted in a 73-20 win by the Tigerettes over the Lady Eagles in the annual Christmas Tournament at Magnet.
“I love my coaches, I love the girls, I love everything about Tigerette basketball and I am so glad to be region champs,” Davis said. “We are dying to make the state tournament and walk down that ramp and we are going to do everything we can to make it happen.”
Creek Wood 13 11 11 3-38
Marshall County 8 13 8 15-44
Creek Wood (38): Allie Burgess 17, Emily Michael 11, Raegan Hohl 5, Anna Edmondson 4, Raegan Taylor 3.
3-Point Goals (9): Burgess 4, Michael 3, Hohl, Taylor.
Free Throws (3-for-4): Burgess 3-for-4.
Marshall County (44): Kelsey Keiler 12, Demariae Ingram 11, Hannah Davis 9, Dionna Crutcher 6, Karlye Wiser 6.
3-Point Goals (5): Wiser 2, Crutcher 2, Keiler.
Free Throws (5-for-8): Keiler 3-for-4, Ingram 1-for-2, Davis 1-for-2.
Halftime Score: Creek Wood: 24, Marshall County 21.