A heroic triumph and a bitter defeat filled a short schedule for the Marshall County basketball team last week, the two games coming in the fifth annual Gunner’s Magic Train Classic.
The Marshals proved equal to the first challenge, prevailing in overtime against McCracken County Friday night, but fell short against Cairo, Ill., on Saturday.
The two games left the team with a 12-8 record. The Marshals are 1-1 in Fourth District play, with a win at Murray and a loss at Calloway County. District play will be wrapped up when Murray (9-8, 0-2) visits on Feb. 8 and Calloway (14-4, 2-0) on Feb. 14.
The district tournament will be held at Marshall County’s Reed Conder Gymnasium the last week of February.
THIS WEEK: The Marshals travel to Lyon County tonight for a 7:30 game. They are at home Friday in a girls-boys double-header against Paducah Tilghman.
MCHS will celebrate homecoming when Tilghman visits.
Marshall Co. 57
McCracken Co. 53 (OT)
Marshall County erased a 7-point deficit with just over two minutes remaining in regulation and went on to win in overtime against visiting McCracken County Friday.
The two teams battled on even terms for the first 3:27 of the extra period, with eight lead changes and two ties before Marshall County’s Mason Wooton hit two free throws to give the Marshals a 54-53 lead with 33 seconds showing on the clock. Marshall County then got a free throw by Drew Warnick with 2.7 seconds to play, and after Warnick missed the second free throw, the rebound was batted toward the sideline, where McCracken lost possession.
D.J. Pigg got free under the basket as the Mustangs scrambled to defend, and took a lob pass and laid it in for the extra margin of victory just before the horn sounded.
The comeback that put the game in overtime was fueled by 3-point baskets by Landon Taylor and Pigg and 3-of-4 free throws by Austin Rentfrow, who calmly sank a pair at the 13.2-second mark, forging the tie score.
Rentfrow missed much of the first half after picking up his second foul with just under two minutes left in the first quarter. Mason Wooten picked up the slack, scoring 8 of his game-high 19 points in the first 16 minutes.
Rentfrow returned with a vengeance in the second half and added 16 points to the 2 he scored before going to the bench in the first quarter. Pigg finished with 13.
Jared Burnett and Caleb Stonecipher had 11 apiece for McCracken County.
The Mustangs had two possessions with the Marshals leading by a single point in the final half-minute of the game, but misfired on a pair of jump shots.
The Marshals led by a single point at the end of the first quarter and first half, with McCracken edging out front 31-30 after three periods. The Mustangs had a 14-7 run in the third period to go from 3 points behind to 4 points ahead, but Pigg was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 3.2 seconds on the clock and sank all three free throws.
The win avenged a 64-56 defeat the Mustangs pinned on visiting Marshall County Dec. 13 in the first meeting between the two schools.
McCracken 10 17 31 45 53
Marshall 11 18 30 45 57
McCRACKEN CO. – Jared Burnett 11, Kam Chumbler 5, Jason Armstrong 7, Caleb Stonecipher 11, Bryce Rodgers 5, Nathan Telfair 8, Sergio Vega 4, Austin Nall 2
MARSHALL CO. – Landon Taylor 5, D.J. Pigg 13, Mason Wooten 19, Drew Warnick 1, Austin Rentfrow 18, Collin Travis 1, Hunter Harvey
Marshall Co. 60
Athletic and aggressive Cairo finally wore down the Marshals in the second half and the Pilots powered their way to victory Saturday night in the tournament finale.
The Pilots turned the game chaotic as they took their frenetic defense to a new level in the final quarter, when they outscored Marshall County 25-16 to salt away the win.
They benefited from a time-out awarded during a scrum for possession of a loose ball, the officials ruling that a Cairo player had the ball when the time-out was requested, although the ball squirted out of the pile and was rolling across the court when the whistle stopped play.
Not long afterward, Marshall County coach Gus Gillespie was hit with a technical foul. Two free throws by Javis Woodson made it 56-48 with 3:58 to go and moments later Nelson made it a 10-point lead. Cairo’s lead never shrank below 7 points the rest of the way.
Marshall County finished the first quarter with a 13-4 run to take a 17-10 lead and enjoyed as much as an 8-point advantage. They led 31-27 at intermission.
Cairo forged a 37-37 tie on a 3-point basket by RaQuan Nelson at the 3:35 mark in the third period and the teams traded the lead a coule of times before Cairo outscored Marshall County 5-2 to finish the quarter with a 45-44 lead.
Landon Taylor got the first basket of the fourth period to put the Marshals on top, but the 46-45 advantage would be the last lead for the home team.
The Pilots were outscored from the floor but benefited from 23 free throws, hitting 17 of them. Marshall County shot only 11 times from the line, and made only six of the tries.
The Marshals also outrebounded Cairo 28-27.
Austin Rentfrow had 18 points for Marshall County, followed closely by D.J. Pigg with 17 and Mason Wooten with 15.
Nelson led Cairo with 22 points.
Cairo 10 27 45 69
Marshall Co. 17 31 44 60
CAIRO – Javis Woodson 8, RaQuan Nelson 22, Melvin Duncan 6, Bryce Gardner 3, Trevan Houston 13, Jeffrey DeWitt, Keyante Graham 5, Dave Taylor 12, Demetrius McGee, Ronald Henderson
MARSHALL CO. – Landon Taylor 3, D.J. Pigg 17, Mason Wooten 15, Drew Warnick 5, Austin Rentfrow 18, Dawson Jolley, Collin Travis 2