DRAFFENVILLE – The Lady Marshals basketball team continued a trend last week with one win and one loss in two games.
From a 9-1 record in their first 10 games, Marshall County is 4-4 in their last eight, losing every other game since a setback at the hands of Boone County Dec. 28 in the Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County.
Last week, they lost to Paducah Tilghman Tuesday night at Tilghman, but won against rival Graves County at home Friday.
“The good thing is we haven’t gone on a losing streak,” said Lady Marshals coach Joseph Simmons, who attributes the recent inconsistency to youth – and heightened expectations after the fast start to the season.
“The first semester, I think we spoiled ourselves and we spoiled our fans,” Simmons said. “Early in the season, I knew we could be a good team, but I didn’t know how soon we would jell, losing four seniors and four valuable contributors” from the 2010-2011 squad.
The Lady Marshals lost to 11th Region power Madison Central and to district rival Calloway County. Meanwhile, there have been impressive wins, including a victory over South Oldham in the Gateway tournament and a decisive win over Lone Oak on the Lady Flash’s home court.
In victory, Simmons said, the team has been consistent in its defensive play.
“The Lone Oak game was a good game for us defensively,” he said. “At Calloway, our defense let us down. We scored enough points to win.”
Then, on Tuesday night, the Lady Marshals gave up 69 points to Tilghman.
“We’re not gonna win those games that are in the 60s and 70s,” Simmons said.
Two players are averaging in double figures for the Lady Marshals. Leading the way is junior Taylor Meadows at 14.7 points per game and next is sophomore Allie York at 11.2.
Meadows admitted, “The Calloway loss hit us pretty hard. We’ve been pretty down about that.”
Tory Fehrenbacher, the only senior starter, says chemistry is the problem, and the solution, to the team’s recent up-and-down performance.
“I think it’s just when we all get on the same page, we just flow so well together and we mesh,” the second-year point guard starter said.
“When one person is off, we all are a little bit slower. We need to all pick up the slack. We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it.”
The Lady Marshals will be without one of the their starters, junior Mariah McKenty, for another week. McKenty suffered a knee injury early in the Tilghman game.
Simmons is choosing to see that as an opportunity to give other players more playing time. Sophomore Toni Fehrenbacher took McKenty’s place in the starting lineup against Graves County and others are getting more opportunities to contribute.
“Bailey Greer has played some valuable minutes for us and Rachael Reed has really come on,” lately, Simmons said.
“That’s just gonna make us better in February and later this month when we get Mariah back.”
Paducah Tilghman 69
Marshall County 54
PADUCAH – Two good quarters and two flat ones were not nearly enough for Marshall County to contend with Paducah Tilghman and its standout junior guard, Chelsey Shumpert.
Shumpert scored early and often on the way to a 34-point night – 10 points above her lofty season average points per game – and the Lady Tornado cruised to victory Tuesday night at Dinning Gymnasium.
Sophomore Allie York led the Lady Marshals with 14 points and 10 rebounds and freshman Alyssa Barnard, starting at center for the second game in a row, turned in a 12-point, seven-rebound effort and senior point guard Tory Fehrenbacher scored 10.
The Lady Marshals also missed defensive standout Mariah McKenty, who suffered an injury to her right knee midway in the second quarter and did not return to action.
But even before McKenty was lost for the night, Tilghman had built a 17-10 lead and was in command.
The Lady Marshals’ offense was disjointed, with only seven assists logged. They were further plagued by an ongoing tendency to miss close shots, which erased several opportunities for assists to be recorded, and were ice-cold from long range as well, missing all seven three-point shots.
Marshall County 55
Marshall County 33
DRAFFENVILLE – The Lady Marshals quickly erased a 3-0 lead established by Graves County’s Kim Fulcher on a long jump shot with an 8-0 run of their own and never looked back in putting away rival Graves County Friday night.
“It’s always good to beat Graves, because they’re very good,” Marshall County coach Joseph Simmons said. “The fact that we were able to hold them to 33 points is a compliment to our players.”
Taylor Meadows scored 20 points to lead the Lady Marshals. Fulcher was the only Lady Eagle in double figures, finishing with 14 points.
Fulcher got half her points, and all of Graves’, in the first quarter. After that, the Lady Marshals, primarily senior Tory Fehrenbacher, clamped down on the Lady Eagle standout, who got three points in the second period and got only a single field goal in each of the last two stanzas.
The Lady Eagles were held to 33.3 percent shooting, hitting 12 of 36 field goal attempts. Marshall County hit 21 of 49 for 42.9 percent.
The Lady Marshals had 11 steals, including three each by Fehrenbacher and Allie York, to account for half of Graves County’s 22 turnovers.