DRAFFENVILLE – To keep alive a four-game winning streak over Fourth District rival Murray, it figured that Marshall County would need to try to minimize the offensive punch of senior guard Janssen Starks.
Starks got only seven points from the floor in Friday night’s game. But she hit 10 of 12 free throws and got plenty of help from the supporting cast, and the Lady Tigers took a 57-44 victory Friday night at Reed Conder Gymnasium.
Starks came into the contest averaging 27 points per game. She has picked up much of the slack left by graduation of Haley Armstrong and Shelby Crouch, who both averaged in double figures last year behind Starks’ team-leading 15.2.
Friday night, the Lady Tigers got 15 points from junior Kalai Trice – a 4-ppg scorer last year has a 5.8 average this year – and 11 from another junior, Julie Thiede, who also pulled down 14 rebounds.
Taylor Meadows, Marshall County’s leading scorer at 13.6 points per game, scored 12 points in the final quarter to try to fuel a comeback, and three times her scoring cut the margin to seven points, the time at 45-39 with 2:28 to go.
But in the remaining time, the lead increased incrementally as Murray hit 10 of 14 free throws. Sparks hit four of six in those final minutes and then came up with a steal and drove for an uncontested layup as time ran out to finish with 17 points.
That layup and a putback by Thiede after Starks misfired on a three-pointer on the first possession of the final period, were the only field goals Murray got in the final period.
Murray took an early lead on a three-pointer by Trice, the first of three she hit during the game. The Lady Marshals took command briefly, but Murray forged an 8-8 tie on Starks’ first free throw of the game and then took the lead at 9-8 on the second shot with 2:11 left in the first quarter.
Marshall County knotted the score twice more, at 11-11 before the end of the first quarter and at 13-13 on Mariah McKenty’s basket in the opening seconds of the second period.
But Murray never trailed again. The Lady Tigers led by two at halftime, 21-19, after Alex Brown’s buzzer-beating jumper for Marshall County.
But the Lady Marshals fell further behind as Thiede and Sparks rang up five points in the first minute-and-a-half of play after intermission and the Lady Tigers methodically edged away as the second half progressed.
The lead extended to 10 on a straightaway jumper by Trice just inside the three-point arc with a minute left in the third period and the 36-26 score stood at the quarter stop.
Meadows was the game’s leading scorer with 19. Sophomore Alyssa Barnard added 10 and grabbed 14 rebounds to offset Thiede’s double-double.
Marshall County committed only seven turnovers but was outrebounded 45-37 and shot an icy 26.9 percent from the floor, hitting only 17 of 63 shots. Murray was a much more efficient 41.8 percent, hitting 18 of 43.
The free-throw line was a killer for Marshall County, both in opportunities and percentages. Murray hit 17 of 24 shots compared to Marshall’s eight of 15.
Murray is unbeaten in two district games and 5-1 overall. Marshall County is 4-3, 0-1 in the district.
Murray 13 17 36 57
Marshall Co. 11 19 26 44
MURRAY: Kalai Trice 15, Macey Turley 4, Janssen Starks 17, Julie Thiede 11, Hannah Clark 4, Christina Duncan, Maddie Waldrop 2, Kaleigh House, Brittany Lamb, Elizabeth Grogan 4, Megan Perry.
MARSHALL CO.: Taylor Meadows 19, Mariah McKenty 2, Toni Fehrenbacher 4, Rachael Reed, Alyssa Barnard 10, Bailey Greer 2, Melissa Ross, Alex Brown 7
MC 59, Carlisle Co. 19
At Bardwell on Tuesday, the issue was decided early as Marshall County led 11-1 at the first quarter stop and 31-7 at halftime.
The Lady Marshals bounced back from their loss the night before at Massac with a businesslike performance. Eleven players scored, led by Taylor Meadows and Bailey Greer with eight points apiece.
Carlisle County, which came into the game with a 3-2 record and averaging 53 points per game, had a nightmarish game. The Lady Comets, who lost starter Jenna Babb early in the game when Babb was shaken up in a collision with another player, hit only seven of 31 shots from the floor.
Heaven Hooper and Madison Derousse led Carlisle with five points each.
Marshall Co. 11 31 45 59
Carlisle Co. 1 7 14 19
MARSHALL CO.: Taylor Meadows 8, Mariah McKenty 7, Toni Fehrenbacher 6, Alex Brown 3, Alyssa Barnard 6, Bailey Greer 8, Claire Waggoner, Maryanna Frazier, Melissa Ross 3, Nikki Fehrenbacher, Michaela Manley 5, Kenslie Cross 2, Rachael Reed 7
CARLISLE CO.: Macy Moran 3, Melanie Thomas 2, Jenna Babb, Laken Sams 2, Heaven Hooper 5, Courtney Case, Devin Rudd, Ashton McKelly 2, Holly Edging, Madison Derousse 5
Massac Co. 47,
MC 45 (OT)
At Metropolis, Ill., on Monday, the Lady Marshals saw a big first-quarter lead slowly melt away until the regulation 32 minutes of play ended in a 41-41 tie. In the overtime period, Massac County outscored Marshall 6-4 to take the win.
The Lady Patriots avenged a 49-48 defeat at the hands of Marshall County Nov. 30 in the Hoop Fest.
Taylor Meadows led the way with 12 points for Marshall County. Lauren Bunting took game scoring honors with 13 for Massac.
The Lady Marshals had a cold shooting night, finishing at 35 percent after a red-hot nine-of-15 first quarter, including three-of-three from three-point range. The rest of the way, they hit only eight of 33 shots, missing all nine from long distance.
Marshall Co. 23 31 37 41 45
Massac Co. 13 28 36 41 47
MARSHALL CO.: Bailey Greer 8, Taylor Meadows 12, Mariah McKenty 6, Toni Fehrenbacher 6, Alex Brown 7, Melissa Ross, Michaela Manley, Rachael Reed, Kaitlyn York, Alyssa Barnard 6
MASSAC CO.: Jessie Douglas 8, Gracyn McBride 6, Kaylee Childers 6, Emily Hoard 9, Lauren Bunting 13,Taylor Klankey 5, Natalie Bailey, Summer Clapp