PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. – A power outage short-circuited Marshall County’s bid to get one Christmas tournament championship last week, but the Lady Marshals can claim a title trophy today in the finale of the Marlin Christmas Classic at Arnold High School.
Marshall County will meet Pensacola at 5 p.m. in a battle of teams that breezed through pool play with similar results.
The Lady Marshals defeated host Arnold 59-10 on Friday and then topped Houston Memorial 52-34 on Saturday, while Pensacola won over Mosley of Lynn Haven, Fla., 70-54 on Friday and dispatched Arnold 67-17.
Senior Allie York poured in 31 points in two wins in Florida so far, scoring 13 in the win over Arnold and 18 in the victory over Memorial.
The Lady Marshals take a 9-0 record into the championship tilt against the Lady Tigers.
They are also unbeaten at 5-0 in this tournament, having won it in their only other appearance in 2010.
Other girls games on tap today include the fifth-place game between Arnold and Mosley at 10 a.m. and the third-place game between Pleasant Grove, Ala., and Houston Memorial at 1:30 p.m.
A second Christmas tourney title will be up for grabs in mid-January. The championship showdown in Hopkins County Central’s UMW Classic is tentatively set for Jan. 18 between Marshall County and Franklin-Simpson.
THIS WEEK: Two games are on tap for the Lady Marshals this weekend, as they travel to Murray to open Fourth District play on Friday and travel to Metropolis, Ill., to meet Massac County on Saturday.
A heated rivalry for superiority in the district and in the First Region appears to be headed for another round, as the Lady Tigers of former Marshall County basketball standout Rachelle Turner came into this week with an 11-2 record, fresh off a victory in their own Murray Bank Lady Tiger Classic by a 68-67 score over University Heights Academy of Hopkinsville.
The Lady Marshals are the two-time defending champions of the region, with a 41-39 win over Murray last year, 16 days after the Lady Tigers had forged 70-69 double-overtime win in the district championship battle.
Murray also won two regular-season meetings last year.
The year before, Marshall County swept four meetings over Murray, including the district championship game and a semifinal matchup in the region tournament.
In the three years that coach Joseph Simmons has been at the helm of the Marshall County program, the two teams have a near-even record, with Marshall County holding a 7-6 edge in victories.
Marshall Co. 52
Houston Memorial 34
The Lady Marshals led all the way, pulling away from a 2-point lead to a 15-9 edge after the first quarter and maintaining a big lead the rest of the way.
Memorial cut it inside double figures at 29-20 in the third quarter, on a pair of free throws by Amy Houser. But Marshall County pulled away and it was 42-21 at the end of the period.
The Lady Marshal defense limited Memorial to 26 percent shooting from the floor.
Marshall County shot a lukewarm 66 percent from the free-throw line, but had plenty of opportunities, hitting 25 of 38. Memorial hit 12 out of 18 from the charity stripe.
Allie York had a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Lady Marshals.
Houser had 10 to lead Memorial.
Memorial 9 12 21 34
Marshall Co. 15 26 42 52
MMEMORIAL – Jessie Ustick 5, Chandler Anderson 6, Amy Houser 10, Amy Alfeld 7, Amanda McClosekey, Courtney Slattery, Kelsey Slattery, Giuliana Madrigall, Sage Nathan 1, Brooke Berry 4, Ryan Robinson 1
MARSHALL CO. – Bailey Greer 5,Allie York 18, Toni Fehrenbacher 2,Michaela Manley 8, Alyssa Barnard 6, Nikki Fehrenbacher, Melissa Ross, Lexee Miller, Payton Smother, Briley English 5, Josey Powell 2, Miyah Davis, Hannah Langhi 6
Marshall Co. 59
Panama City Beach (Fla.) Arnold 10
The Marshall girls rolled over the host Lady Marlins on Friday, giving up only 2 first-half points.
The scoreless second quarter was the second shutout period in the last four games for the Lady Marshals, who blanked Fort Campbell in the first period of a 61-25 win at home on Dec. 17.
Allie York scored 13 points to lead the winners. Briley English came off the bench to add 10. They were the only ones to score in double figures, with four other players contributing between 5 and 8 points.
Marshall County built a 40-2 halftime lead and cruised to the win by outscoring their opponents 19-16 in the final two periods.
Marshall Co. 19 40 49 59
Arnold 2 2 6 10
MARSHALL CO. – Bailey Greer 8, Allie York 13, Toni Fehrenbacher 6, Michaela Manley 7, Alyssa Barnard 5, Nikki Fehrenbacher, Melissa Ross 2, Lexee Miller, Payton Smother 2, Briley English 10, Josey Powell 2, Miyah Davis 3, Hannah Langhi 2, Hannah English
ARNOLD – Lia Johnson 5, Savannah Adcock 1, Jessica Pavlov, Tiara Bell 2, Lilyann Robinson, Emily Liford, Madison Rudolph, Destini Washington 2, Caitlyn Benedik, Savannah Schneider, Raye Sutton, Zeny Maiko