DRAFFENVILLE – Marshall County’s Lady Marshals claimed the regular-season Fourth District basketball championship, and the top seed in next week’s tournament that goes with it, with a victory over Calloway County Friday night.
It was the first victory for Marshall over Calloway County since Feb. 27, 2009, when they beat the Lady Lakers in the first round of the First Region tournament, en route to a region championship title and a berth in the girls’ basketball Sweet Sixteen.
The was one of three games the team won last week, extending its winning streak to six games and its overall record to 21-8.
The Lady Marshals are second only to 23-5 Paducah Tilghman in First Region play.
They defeated Community Christian in Paducah Tuesday night and topped St. Mary at home on Saturday.
“I’m just real proud of their effort,” coach Joseph Simmons said.
“They were focused and they had a lot of trust and confidence in one another, and that’s what it takes to beat good teams.”
In district play, the Lady Marshals are 5-1, the blemish an overtime loss at Calloway County.
“I think we grew from that,” Simmons said of the loss at Calloway. “I think our girls were hurt from that loss.
“They took it hard. I don’t know that they really got over it until the end of January.”
The Lady Marshals close out the regular season tonight at home against Ballard Memorial. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.
Marshall County 61
Comm. Christian 34
PADUCAH – Marshall County rolled to its fourth straight victory and set up a showdown for the top seed in the Fourth District with a 61-34 thumping of Community Christian.
The Lady Marshals led all the way from an 8-0 advantage, holding the Lady Warriors scoreless for almost the first three minutes of the game and steadily increasing their lead to the finish.
Allie York had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Marshall County, which had a 41-26 advantage on the boards. Taylor Meadows added 10 points.
Erin McMullen led the Lady Warriors, 4-15, with 10 points.
Half the Lady Marshals’ 26 baskets came on assists, with point guard Tory Fehrenbacher handing out five of the 13. Fehrenbacher also scored six points.
Marshall County improved to 19-8, 4-1 in district play.
Marshall County 54
Calloway County 50
DRAFFENVILLE – Marshall County slipped from a two-point lead in the first quarter to a five-point deficit at halftime, trailing 28-23.
But the Lady Marshals outscored Calloway 13-7 in the third period to go up 36-35, and hung on doggedly in the final eight minutes to snap a five-game losing streak at the hands of the Lady Lakers.
“We were so excited,” senior point guard Tory Fehrenbacher said. “Not only do we get the first seed in the district, it’s been a long time since we beat Calloway. It was really exciting, especially for some of the older players on the team. That meant a lot to us.”
Fehrenbacher contributed 11 points for the winners, who were led by sophomore forward Allie York’s 20 points and nine rebounds. Mariah McKenty added 12 points.
The Lady Lakers keyed their defense to Marshall’s leading scorer, Taylor Meadows. The junior forward scored seven points, earning the praise of her coach for not forcing shots.
“She was willing to take a back seat,” coach Joseph Simmons said. “That’s a sign of maturity.”
The Marshall County defense focused on two players who powered the Calloway team to victory Jan. 6, center Alyssa Cunningham and forward Karlee Wilson.
Wilson, who scored 22 points – all in the second half – at Calloway, scored 12, but failed to hit a three-point field goal. Cunningham finished with 11.
Taylor Futrell led the Calloway offense with 17 points, but she was limited to a single three-point field goal – Calloway’s only three-pointer of the game – with les than 30 seconds left in the game.
The shot cut the lead to 50-48, but York hit two free throws for a 52-48 advantage with 19 seconds to go. Then Meadows hit one of two free throws to make it 53-48 with 8 seconds left.
“That was an important game,” Simmons said. “That was our first goal. Our next goal is to go win the district.”
Marshall County 57
St. Mary 42
DRAFFENVILLE – Mariah McKenty’s shot at the first-quarter buzzer turned a 9-8 lead into an 11-8 edge, and the Lady Marshals pulled away for the victory Saturday night over short-handed, injury-plagued St. Mary.
A 30-17 halftime edge grew to as much as 19 points at 38-19 just over two minutes into the third period.
Junior forward Taylor Meadows led the Lady Marshals with 18 points. Allie York capped a stellar week by scoring 10 points, giving her a total of 47 for the three games last week, and Tory Fehrenbacher also scored 10.
St. Mary got 18 points from Rachael Guess and 12 from Alex Durbin. The Lady Vikings dropped to 10-16.