The first week of February was a frustrating one for Marshall County boys basketball coach Gus Gillespie and his team.
That week is history.
“This is a different team,” Gillespie said after watching his Marshals grind out a 55-53 overtime victory against Fourth District rival Calloway County, the centerpiece of a three-win week for the Marshals.
D.J. Pigg, a 43-percent shooter from long range, drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat the Lakers, the First Region’s second-best team with a 19-5 record.
The week got off to a slow start, as Livingston Central, which came in with a 5-15 record, sprinted out to an early lead.
But Marshall County steadied itself and won going away on Feb. 11.
The Calloway victory was followed by a Saturday night win over a very tough St. Mary team.
That answered Gillespie’s urging for his team to perform at a higher level than they had previous done on Friday-Saturday games.
THIS WEEK: The Marshals, 17-10, entertain Mayfield in the final home game of the regular season at 7:30 tonight and travel to Hopkinsville to play Christian County at 7:30 Thursday.
Fourth District tournament action begins Feb. 25 at Reed Conder Gymnasium with Marshall County meeting Murray at 7:30 p.m. The winner will meet Calloway County at 7:45 Feb. 27 for the championship, with both teams advancing to the First Region tournament the following week at Murray State University.
Marshall Co. 55
Calloway Co. 53 (OT)
DRAFFENVILLE – Sophomore sharpshooter D.J. Pigg drained a shot from deep in the right corner as time ran out in overtime to lift the Marshals to a win and a frenzied celebration on the Reed Conder Gymnasium hardwood.
The shot came after Calloway County’s Parker Adams put the Lakers ahead 53-52 on a drive to the basket and a free throw. A blocking foul was called on Marshal center Austin Rentfrow, who went to the bench with his fifth foul with 29.6 seconds left in the extra period.
Mason Wooten worked the Calloway defense for a drive to the basket, but his shot was off and the rebound was batted out of bounds and awarded to Marshall County with 2.9 seconds left.
Dawson Jolley fired the inbounds pass to Pigg as he broke for the corner, and the shot hit nothing but the bottom of the net, triggering explosive cheers from the home audience.
Pigg contributed another clutch 3-pointer that helped the Marshals battle back from the largest deficit of the game, a 42-35 score with 4:24 left in regulation, which ended in a 48-48 tie.
The teams swapped the lead three times in the extra period.
Rentfrow led all scorers with 18 points and also pulled down 14 rebounds.
Pigg finished with 11 points, and Wooten had 17.
Adams had 17 to lead Calloway. Michael Arnett had 14 and Wade Carter 10.
The Lakers, with the First Region’s second-best record at 19-5, had bombed Marshall County from 3-point range in taking a 43-31 win at Calloway on Jan. 10. Friday night, they were 0-for-4 from outside the arc.
Calloway 15 26 37 48 53
Marshall 10 23 31 48 55
CALLOWAY CO. – Wade Carter 10, Parker Adams 17, Skyler Hunter 3, Connor Wagner 7, Michael Arnett 14, Clay Smotherman 2, Hunter Smith, Tristan Crady
MARSHALL CO. – Landon Taylor 7, D.J. Pigg 11, Mason Wooten 17, Collin Travis 2, Austin Rentfrow 18, Dawson Jolley, Drew Warnick
Marshall Co. 58
St. Mary 43
DRAFFENVILLE – St. Mary, which surrendered a hard-fought decision to Marshall County on Dec. 5 in the Hoop Fest, hit its first two 3-point shots to take the early lead Saturday.
But the advantage was short-lived. Marshall County took a 10-8 lead at the midway point in the first period and never trailed again.
St. Mary managed a tie at 15-15, but the Marshals outscored the Vikings 10-2 to finish the first half with a 27-17 lead and stretched it to as much as 18 points.
Austin Rentfrow scored a game-high 24 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.
Mason Wooten added 18 and took turns with Landon Taylor, D.J. Pigg, Drew Warnick and other Marshals who shackled Viking standout Patrick Hubert.
Hubert, who averages just under 20 points per game, managed only 7.
No Viking scored in double figures. Tyler Dome and reserve Peyton Smith had 8 points apiece.
St. Mary 10 17 33 43
Marshall 14 27 50 58
ST. MARY – Patrick Hubert 7, Harrison Dickens 4, Wes Averill 6, McCall Overstreet 7, Tyler Dome 8, Mason Vaughn 3, Peyton Smith 8, Nick Eggemeyer
MARSHALL CO. – Landon Taylor 8, D.J. Pigg 5, Mason Wooten 18, Collin Travis, Austin Rentfrow 24, Dawson Jolley, Drew Warnick 3
Marshall Co. 75
Livingston Cent. 62
DRAFFENVILLE – After falling behind 3-2 in the early going, Marshall County battled back to take the lead on a 3-point shot by Landon Taylor midway in the second quarter.
The senior point guard hit two free throws moments later, and the Cardinals never got closer the 3 points the rest of the way.
Austin Rentfrow had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Marshals. Mason Wooten added 20 points.
Livingston 14 24 37 52
Marshall 13 32 53 75
LIVINGSTON CENT. – Austin Woodward 24, Austin Wright 2, Dalton Gilbert 11, Briley Ray, Colton Ramage 9, Jordan Miller 4,, Tanner Rodgers 2, Maciej Sloma, Cameron Thomason
MARSHALL CO. – Landon Taylor 6, D.J. Pigg 8, Mason Wooten 20, Collin Travis 2, Austin Rentfrow 23, Carson Beckett, Jake Walker 2, Travis English 3, Colton Lampley, Dawson Jolley 2, Collin Gunn, Drew Warnick 4, Blake Sandlin 3, Hunter Harvey 2, Matthew Krone