DRAFFENVILLE – Marshall County thoroughly dismantled the boys’ basketball team with the second-best record in the First Region on Tuesday, and then fell victim to an upset by another team with a similar second-best record on Friday.
The Marshals shot better than 70 percent from the floor and played suffocating defense to defeat Heath on Tuesday.
Three nights later, they missed more than 70 percent of their shots Friday at Graves County, sleepwalking through three quarters and then falling just short in a furious fourth-quarter rally.
The Marshals returned to form by blitzing Murray 73-42 Saturday.
The week’s results left Marshall County with a 23-3 record, far ahead of both Heath and Graves, which have 15-10 records. In the Fourth District, the Marshals are a perfect 4-0.
The Marshals have two games this weekend.
District opponent Calloway County visits Friday, while St. Mary of the Third District comes to Reed Conder Gymnasium on Saturday.
Both nights are girls-boys double-headers.
Marshall Co. 93
DRAFFENVILLE – Possibly the best 32 minutes of basketball for Marshall County this season, combined with the worst game of the year for Heath, resulted in a lopsided victory for the Marshals.
Pirates coach Burlin Brower refused to make any excuses for his team, but Heath was clearly off its stride after a run to the semifinals in the All “A” state tournament for small schools the week before.
Just how much that may have lifted the Marshals’ performance is subject to debate, but the home team blistered the nets at a 71.2 percent clip, 53.3 from three-point range. They added 11 of 16 free throws, nearly 69 percent from the line.
Heath, conversely, shot only 31 percent in the first 16 minutes and didn’t get much warmer in the second half, finishing with 39 percent shooting for the game. The Pirates hit fewer than half as many field goals (16) as the Marshals (37).
The Marshals’ offense was rock-solid with 24 assists and only eight turnovers, and the defense, in addition to shackling the Heath shooters, netted 12 steals and shut down the Pirates’ versatile 6-5 Jacob Jett, holding him to five points and only three rebounds.
Cole Nelson led the MC attack with 21 points. Chase Clark added 13 and Austin Rentfrow, saddled with foul trouble for much of the game, added 10 points and had a game-high five rebounds.
Drew Wrinkle was the only Pirate to reach double figures, with 12.
Graves Co. 63
Marshall Co. 60
MAYFIELD – A 30-point fourth quarter explosion wasn’t quite good enough for Marshall County, which fell 63-60 to Graves County Friday night in a high school basketball game at Graves’ Eagles Nest Friday night.
The upset snapped a 12-game winning streak for the 22-2 Marshals, who lost Dec. 29 to Montgomery County.
A furious Marshal rally sliced a 43-30 third-quarter deficit to 50-49 with 3:29 left to play and to 52-51 at the 2:45 mark, both times on baskets by Chase Clark. But Graves ran off five straight points and the Marshals never got closer than three the rest of the way.
The three-point gap came on a free throw by Chase York with 8.7 seconds left. York missed the second free throw and the Marshals rebounded, but Peter Northcutt’s attempt to tie the game with a three-pointer from the left corner bounced off the rim.
Clark led the Marshals with 19 points. Cole Nelson added 14 and York 10.
Tyler Starkey paced Graves County, 15-10, with 17 points before fouling out with nearly five minutes to go.
Marshall County was an icy 26.5 percent from the floor, hitting only 18 of 68 shots. They connected on only one of 21 three-point attempts.
Only three assists were recorded.
Graves, on the other hand, took 20 fewer shots but hit 23 of them for a 48 percent mark.
The Eagles played a heavy-handed defense, which contributed to the Marshals’ shooting woes, but Marshall was unable to make the most of the 37 free-throw chances it got, hitting 23 of them.
Graves also stumbled down the stretch, missing seven free throws – eight, counting one miss that was erased by a lane violation called against the Marshals – in the final 2:22. Those miscues helped the Marshals’ rally, but in the end were not decisive.
Marshall Co. 73
DRAFFENVILLE – The Marshals rebounded from the upset loss on Friday with a steady, if not spectacular, 73-42 win over Murray Saturday.
The Marshals took an early lead on two free throws by Chase Clark, fell behind 3-2, went back ahead on a basket by Austin Rentfrow and never trailed again.
They led 15-8 at the first quarter stop and pulled away from there to improve to 23-2 overall, 4-0 in Fourth District play.
Clark and Rentfrow scored 14 points apiece to pace the Marshals. Cole Nelson and reserve Logan Taylor added 10 points each.
Kendall Deese and Preston Merris each scored eight points to lead the Tigers, 9-14 and 3-4.