DRAFFENVILLE – Two more basketball wins are in the books for Marshall County, which took a short road trip to Eddyville to meet Lyon County Tuesday and returned home to face Paducah Tilghman on homecoming night Friday.
The Lyons proved to be an easy conquest, with the Marshals taking a 62-40 victory. But Tilghman, blown out 73-58 on their home court by Marshall County 17 days earlier, proved to be more of a challenge.
“They played extremely well and you’ve got to give ‘em credit,” Marshall County coach Gus Gillespie said of Tilghman.
“The last three minutes, we did a lot better” on defense, Gillespie said. “We held on that last minute and a half. We were terrible from the line tonight, terrible from the three-point floor, and still won the ball game.”
The two wins last week give Gillespie’s team a 21-1 record with seven games remaining on the regular season schedule.
Heath, with the second-best record in the First Region, comes to Reed Conder Gymnasium tonight on the heels of a final-four run in the All “A” Classic state tournament last week in Frankfort.
Another stern test is on tap Friday, when the Marshals visit Graves County.
A third game is on the schedule with Fourth District opponent Murray visits Saturday night.
Marshall County 62
Lyon County 40
EDDYVILLE – The Marshals jumped out to an early lead and cruised to their 20th win of the season Tuesday night.
Marshall County shot 53 percent and held the Lyons to an icy 27.5 percent from the floor. Lyon County was zero-for-seven from three-point range. The Marshals hit three of 10 from behind the arc.
Sophomore center Austin Rentfrow paced the victory with 14 points. Cole Nelson and Chase York added 11 points apiece and Chase Clark scored 10.
Rentfrow, a 6-5 sophomore, also grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Marshals to a 37-30 edge on the boards.
Warron Sutton took game scoring honors with 21 points for the Lyons, who saw a two-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 8-12.
Marshall Co. 54
DRAFFENVILLE – After the Blue Tornado battled the Marshals to a 10-10 first-quarter tie, Marshall County turned up the pressure and pulled away to a 27-18 lead at intermission, suggesting that another easy win might be in store.
The Marshals added to that expectation in the opening moments of the third period, when they opened the lead to 32-21 on a three-point shot by Cole Nelson.
The inconsistent shooting, from the field and the free-throw line, kept them from putting the game away.
Tilghman stiffened and came back with a run that cut the lead to five at the end of the third period at 41-36.
The action became even more intense in the final eight minutes. Tilghman fought back and erased the lead, forging a tie at 50-50 with 2:08 to go when Dwayne Morrow hit the second of a two-shot free-throw chance.
Then, the Marshal defense rose to the occasion, and Tilghman did not tally again.
Meanwhile, the Marshals got a turnaround jumper from the low post from Renfrow to regain the laed with 1:04 left and Chase Clark and Chase Buchanan each made one of two free throws for the final points of the game.
Senior forward Logan Taylor was a key player on defense with his aggressive play.
“We talked about buckling down on defense and not letting them get easy shots” in a time-out after the Tornado had tied the game, Taylor said.
“In close games, defense wins ball games and that’s what we’ve been preaching,” he said. “We have to have strong defense to win.”
It proved to be the difference on a night when Marshall County hit only three of 16 shots from long range and only 11 of 25 from the free-throw line.
Chase Clark scored 16 points to lead the Marshals. Cole Nelson added 12.
J.D. Harmon led the Tornado with 11 points. Cody Schultz, Olajuwon Harmon and Conner Layne scored 10 apiece.