PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – Marshall County, one of four teams with 1-1 records in pool play in the Marlin Christmas Classic basketball tournament, will meet North Greene of Greeneville, Tenn., this morning at 11:30.
The Huskies, a Class 1A school from the east Tennessee mountain region, are 0-2 in the tournament, having lost 74-62 to host Arnold of Panama City Beach on Friday and 60-54 to Trinity Catholic of Ocala, Fla., on Saturday.
A tiebreaker system based on margin of victory or loss would have created rematches in originally scheduled games for third and fifth place in the tournament, so coaches opted to junk the format and play new opponents without regard for place finishes.
Marshall County was whipped by Walton of Marietta, Ga., 73-49 in its tourney opener on Friday. The Raiders then dispatched Arnold 57-20 on Saturday to claim a berth in the championship game today.
The Marshals recovered from a disastrous start to defeat Memorial of Houston, Texas, 57-40 on Saturday and force the tie-breaker scenario for Monday’s pairing.
In pool play, Austin Rentfrow scored 34 points to set a tournament single-game scoring record in the loss to Walton and Drew Warnick came off the bench to score 18 points to lead a comeback against Memorial.
In other boys games today, Arnold will play Memorial at 3 p.m. and Trinity Catholic will meet Walton in the championship game at 6:30.
The Marshals take a 7-4 record into today’s matchup with North Greene.
THIS WEEK: The Marshals move into Fourth District action Friday with a visit to Murray. The Marshals won the last meeting between the two schools 64-51 on Feb. 2 at the Tigers’ gym.
Marshall County has a 29-game winning streak over Murray, dating from a 70-52 loss at Murray on Dec. 14, 2001.
Marshall Co. 57
Houston Memorial 40
Marshall County watched the Mustangs bolt to a 16-1 lead and trailed 16-3 at the first quarter stop. Ten Memorial made it 18-3 in the opening moments of the second period.
But that proved to be the end of Memorial’s domination, as Marshall County went on a 27-2 run over the second and third periods to rally from 15 points down to 10 points ahead before the Mustangs recovered.
Reserve senior guard Drew Warnick led the comeback, nailing four 3-point shots and finishing with 18 points.
The Marshals connected for 16 unanswered points to cut the lead to 20-19 at halftime and then ran off the first 11 of the second half to go on top 30-20 before Memorial found the basket again.
The Marshal lead swelled to 22 at 55-33 with a minute to go in the game.
D.J. Pigg added 17 for the Marshals. Austin Rentfrow, who scored 9 points for a two-game total of 43, pulled down 10 rebounds.
Memorial was paced by Blake Berry’s 8-point effort.
Marshall Co. 3 19 34 57
Memorial 16 20 25 40
MEMORIAL – Mason Meredith 2, Bryan Blum 4, Will Alford 4, John Perry 2, Allen Hadi 3, Richard Reese 5, Blake Berry 8, William Allcorn 2, Brian Lake 6, Will Rouse, Jayce Gates 4, John Hurley
MARSHALL CO. – Landon Taylor 2, D.J. Pigg 17, Mason Wooten 8, Collin Travis 1, Austin Rentfrow 9, Carson Beckett, Jack Walker, Travis English 2, Dawson Jolley, Collin Gunn, Drew Warnick 18, Blake Sandlin, Hunter Harvey
Marietta (Ga.) Walton 63
Marshall Co. 49
Marshall County was outmanned by undefeated Walton of Marietta, Ga., in its tourney opener on Friday, but Austin Rentfrow set a tournament single-game scoring record with 34 points.
Co-holder of the 33-point standard Rentfrow eclipsed was Marshall County’s Stephen Atkinson, who set the mark in 2010.
Walton jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and allowed Marshall County only a 6-6 tie before taking command for good. But the Marshals fought back, trailing by 3 at the first quarter stop and by 9 at halftime.
The Raiders broke the game open in the second half, opening the third period with a 12-3 run that made it 45-27, and Marshall County never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
Chad Clay led Walton with 16 points.
Marshall Co. 14 24 35 49
Walton 17 33 49 63
MARSHALL CO. – Landon Taylor 3, D.J. Pigg 6, Mason Wooten 4, Collin Travis, Austin Rentfrow 34, Dawson Jolley 2, Drew Warnick, Hunter Harvey, Matthew Krone
WALTON – Jay Bowyer 5, Elijah Weems 10, Chad Clay 16, Maurice Gibson 10, Nick Wells 14, Blake Poole 2, Juanye Colon 6, Josh McGrath