MURRAY – Seniors Austin Rentfrow, Landon Taylor and Drew Warnick led a third-quarter surge that put down a stubborn Murray Tigers team and lifted Marshall County to a 64-52 win Friday night at Tiger Gym.
The game was the Fourth District basketball opener for both schools.
It was the 30th win in a row for Marshall County over Murray in a span of some 13 years, but the game was much closer than the final score indicated. Murray led much of the first half and trailed only 48-40 after three periods of play.
Rentfrow, a 6-7 senior, led all scorers with 24 points and also pulled down 11 rebounds. He hit two free throws in the early moments of the second half to forge a 30-30 tie, and after the Marshal defense forced a turnover, Taylor drained a 3-point shot to make it 33-30.
After Murray got a 3-point play from Adam Stubblefield for the eighth tie of the game at 33-33, Warnick had a putback basket and a steal and layup, and it was 37-33. The Marshals never trailed again.
Warnick, who distinguished himself the week before with stellar off-the-bench performances in the Marlin Christmas Classic tournament at Panama City Beach, Fla., came through again with 14 points against Murray.
Preston English and Tandyn Sheppard led a game effort for the Tigers with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Sheppard also had a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Marshal defense clamped down after allowing Murray to shoot 46 percent in the first half, holding the Tigers to 7-of-22 field goals, 32 percent, in the final 16 minutes.
Meanwhile, Marshall County used Rentfrow’s inside power and its defense, converting 24 points off 21 Murray turnovers to offset Murray’s strong start and game-long rebounding, which gave the Tigers a 36-28 edge on the boards.
The Tigers rode an 11-0 spurt in the first quarter to roar from a 9-3 deficit to a 14-9 lead. They held on to record an 18-16 lead at the first quarter stop and battled Marshall on even terms for a 30-28 halftime lead.
THIS WEEK: The Marshals continue district play at Calloway County on Friday in the nightcap of a girls-boys double-header at Jeffrey Gymnasium. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Marshall County meets Massac County of Metropolis, Ill., in the inaugural Mustang Madness tournament at McCracken County’s Strawberry Hills Arena in Paducah.
Tip-off for the game is at noon.
Marshall Co. 16 28 48 64
Murray 18 30 40 52
MARSHALL CO. – Landon Taylor 4, Drew Warnick 14, Mason Wooten 9, Collin Travis 7, Austin Rentfrow 24, D.J. Pigg 2, Dawson Jolley 2, Hunter Harvey 2
MURRAY – Preston English 15, Duane Curtis 6, Dylan Boone 3, James Boone 2, Tandyn Sheppard 11, Des Jahvonni Miles 2, Cam Kelly, Adam Stubblefield 7, Dante Darcus, Ethan Clark 4, Tre Hornbuckle 2