Marshall County’s Lady Marshals hit the 20-win mark, but then hit a speed bump on their path to a third consecutive First Region basketball championship.
The Lady Marshals dropped an overtime decision Friday at Graves County and then fell to Murray Saturday night in a game that clinched the Fourth District championship title for the Lady Tigers.
The loss was the second in a row to Murray, which won 45-39 at home Jan. 3. Murray won for the 16th time in the last 17 games and improved to 22-3.
The Lady Tigers won three straight against Marshall County last year, including a 70-69 double-overtime victory in the district tournament championship. But Marshall County took a 41-39 win when the two teams met in the region tourney championship.
The loss to Graves County was the first for Marshall County since 2006, snapping a 19-game winning streak. Marshall County won 41-37 at home Jan. 17.
The Lady Marshals wrap up the district slate Friday at home against Calloway County. They defeated Calloway 53-49 on the Lady Lakers’ home court Jan. 10 despite a superlative effort by Calloway senior Summer Simmons, who scored 33 points.
The outcome will decide second place, but the two teams will meet again in the first round of the district tournament as Murray has secured the first-round bye in the three-team league.
Calloway had a 12-10 record at the start of the week.
THIS WEEK: The Lady Marshals have the nightcap in a boys-girls double-header at home today against Livingston Central. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.
Two more twin bills are on the calendar, including the district encounter at home against Calloway County and a match-up on Saturday against St. Mary. The Lady Marshals have the early start time, at 6 p.m., for those two games.
The Lady Cardinals and Lady Marshals have not played each other since the 2007-2008 season when they met twice. Marshall County won 80-45 in a Christmas tourney at Calloway County and won 60-51 at home on Jan. 15, 2008.
Livingston Central was 9-9 at the beginning of this week, with a home game against Hopkins County Central scheduled Monday.
Marshall County won 57-34 on Feb. 9 last year when the Lady Marshals traveled to St. Mary. The Lady Vikings were 8-7 going into this week’s games.
Marshall Co. 40
DRAFFENVILLE – A scrambling, trapping defense in the fourth quarter and a 20-point performance by eighth grade point guard Macey Turley lifted Murray to a 45-40 victory Saturday.
Even though it was Murray that was playing desperate defense in catch-up mode, it was Marshall County that drew the referees’ whistles. Murray’s comeback was aided by 12 trips to the free-throw line, and the Lady Tigers hit 10 of them.
Marshall County, which got 10 free throw chances the entire game, shot none in the final quarter. Of their chances, they hit only four.
The Lady Marshals had a 34-28 lead after three quarters and stretched it to the biggest margin of the game on a basket by Hannah Langhi to open the final stanza.
But Murray outscored the home team 17-4 the rest of the way.
Allie York and Bailey Greer led Marshall County with 9 points apiece.
Murray 11 20 28 45
Marshall Co. 13 20 34 40
MURRAY – Macey Turley 20, Maddie Waldrop 9, Kaleigh House, Julie Thiede 2, Elizabeth Grogan 5, Bethany Armstrong, Lily Ramey 2, Hannah Clark 7
MARSHALL CO. – Bailey Greer 9, Allie York 9, Roni Fehrenbacher 6, Michaela Manley 8, Alyssa Barnard 4, Melissa Ross, Amanda Bailey, Hannah Langhi 4
Graves Co. 50
Marshall Co. 45 (OT)
MAYFIELD – Free throws were also a factor in the loss at Graves County on Friday. Marshall County had 17 chances to Graves County’s 16, but hit only 10 to Graves’ 13.
Marshall County led 32-30 after three periods of back-and-forth play, but had to rally from a 39-32 deficit to put the game in overtime.
Allie York had 10 points to lead Marshall County. Taylor West led the Lady Eagles with 15.
Marshall Co. 11 22 32 39 45
Graves Co. 14 21 30 39 50
MARSHALL CO. – Bailey Greer 9, Allie York 10, Toni Fehrenbacher 2, Micheala Manley 6, Alyssa Barnard 7, Melissa Ross 3, Josey Powell, Hannah Langhi 8
GRAVES CO. – Gracie Martin 4, Bethany Cartwright 8, Taylor West 15, Bailey Hawkins 14, Alivia Coleman 2, Emily Whitnell, Lex Mayes, Tori Wiggins 4, Lindsey Barton, Dana Adkins 3