Mills steps up, on Gators Saturday, 63-56

Cole Mills (15) shoots a fading jumper over Greenwood’s defense in the 63-56 victory on Saturday night.

There was no feeling sorry for Marshall County. The boys came to play in their first appearance at HoopFest 2021 in Saturday’s night cap game that earned the Marshals a 63-56 victory over visiting Greenwood at Reed Conder Gymnasium.

“I’m proud of our guys. We’ve been through so much this year and at times, you know you want to feel sorry for our guys but we can’t,” Marshall head coach Terry Birdsong said. “Nobody else feels sorry for us. We’ve tried to tell them that everyone likes to beat us. We just found a way tonight.”

The Marshals led the Gators, 31-29, at intermission, which was a much needed sight for Marshall fans this season. In the third quarter, the Gators (8-8) were outscored 14-8 in the third quarter when Cole Mills scored 12 of his 24 points.

Mills leads the Marshals with 134 total points scored this season, recording 13.4 per contest. He also leads his team in field goals and free throws. In a time when Zion Harmon is still unavailable, Mills has truly stepped up for his team.

“Cole Mills was really good offensively tonight, and you know he can do that on the court,” Birdsong said.

Mills’ two dozen led all scorers. Riley Smith and Quinn Smith followed with a combined 23 points.

Quinn Smith assisted in Marshall County’s second half excitement by adding five points in the fourth in the midst of a 19-point rally by Greenwood.

“I was disappointed in the way we ended the first quarter and in the second quarter, we gave up an easy basket and took a shot too quick,” Birdsong added. “We gave up the three and lost it in transition. Aside from those couple things, we were good tonight.”

Marc Grant led the Gators with 20 points. Twelve of those came from 3-pointers.

The Marshals (4-7) will continue with HoopFest by facing off against Thomas Nelson on Sunday afternoon. They will host Ballard Memorial on Tuesday night and Union County on Friday night. They will end their week by traveling to Carlisle County on Saturday.

Greenwood 12 17 8 19 – 56

Marshall Co 14 17 14 18 – 63

GREENWOOD: Grant 20, Brown 13, C. Stinnett 12, Thornhill 6, Howard 4, Buchanon 1. Field goals: 14. 3-pointers: 6 (Grant 4, Thornhill 2). Free throws: 10/15. Fouls: 14. Record: 8-8.

MARSHALL CO: Mills 24, R. Smith 12, Q. Smith 11, Driver 6, Schroader 5, Miller 5. Field goals: 16. 3-pointers: 4 (Driver 2, Mills, Schroader). Free throws: 19/28. Fouls: 11. Record: 4-7.