Tuesday, March 07, 2017 - Updated: 3:06 PM
By David Green
MURRAY – Murray captured its second straight First Region girls basketball championship Saturday at the CFSB Center, posting a 51-32 victory over Marshall County.
But the game was more competitive than might have been expected, after three decisive wins this season by the Lady Tigers over the Lady Marshals – including a 61-25 thumping on Feb. 23 in the Fourth District tournament finale at Marshall County’s Conder Gymnasium.
The Lady Marshals trailed by only one point, at 14-13, early in the second quarter when Murray went on a 12-0 run, blowing the margin out to 26-13.
A basket by Tera Colson ended the run, but Murray took a 31-15 lead into intermission and held the Lady Marshals to three points in the third period before Lorin Powell’s basket just before the end of the period.
That left it at 40-20 with eight minutes to go, and the Lady Marshals finished with a 12-11 advantage in the final quarter.
“I felt like we played at a championship level tonight. We just ran into a better team,” Lady Marshals Coach Joseph Simmons said.
Even though the Lady Marshals had won two region tournament games since the 36-point whipping in the district finale at the hands of Murray, Simmons admitted some concerns that his team might be intimidated facing the Lady Tigers again.
“I don’t think we were,” he said. “I think our girls were prepared. We left it all out on the floor tonight.”
In two regular-season meetings, Murray won 65-38 Dec. 13 at Marshall County and 57-39 on Feb. 7 at Murray.
Marshall County got 10 points from senior forward-center Hannah Langhi. The First Region Miss Basketball candidate was battered by a collapsing Murray defense, and her only field goal was a first-quarter 3-pointer. But she hit seven of eight free throws.
Murray was led by junior point guard Macey Turley’s 18 points. Lex Mayes added 11 and Maddie Waldrop 10.
The region title is the fourth overall for the Lady Tigers, coached by former Marshall County standout Rechelle Cadwell Turner.
The Lady Marshals, who won 11 region titles in a row from 1981 through 1991 and claimed state championships in 1982 and 1984, won three in a row twice (1999-2001 and 2012-2014). They have won 22 region championships in all.
Saturday’s game marked the return of the team to the championship game for the first time since their 2014 victory over Graves County.
The past two years, Marshall County has been eliminated in the opening round of the region tourney.
Murray 51, MC 32
Murray 13 31 40 51
MC 9 15 20 32
MURRAY: Brittany Lawson 6, Lex Mayes 11, Macey Turley 18, Maddie Waldrop 10, Alexis Burpo 3, Parker Greer, Mallory Stone, Calli Carver, Cecile Stone, Grace Campbell 3, Lydia Grogan, Elizabeth Curtis, Olivia Burdine, Chloe Lovins
MARSHALL CO.: Tera Colson 4, Lexee Miller, Miyah Davis 6, Paige Henson 4, Hannah Langhi 10, Chloe Greer, Whitnee Miller, Chloe Kerrick, Emily Bridges, Jessica Hicks 2, Lorin Powell 6
MC 37, McCracken Co. 21
MURRAY – Marshall County’s defense put a stop to McCracken County’s upset hopes in a First Region semifinal game Friday at the CFSB Center.
The Lady Marshals put together a second-quarter run that gave them a double-figures lead at intermission, 17-7, after holding the Lady Mustangs to a single point in the quarter.
Marshall County had scored runaway victories of 57-17 and 44-16 in two regular-season meetings.
But the Lady Mustangs rallied with the return from injury of junior guard MacKenzie Blackford and won the Second District tournament championship, then defeated Ballard Memorial in a first-round region tournament game Feb. 27.
They took a 6-2 lead on Meagan Hayden’s 3-point shot midway in the first period and trailed only 7-6 at the first quarter stop.
But after Sarah Adams hit one of two free throws to tie it at 7-7 in the opening seconds of the second period, Marshall County put together a 10-point run, shutting out the Lady Mustangs the rest of the way to halftime.
McCracken County never challenged after that.
The Lady Mustang defense focused on Marshall County sharpshooter Miyah Davis, who was also hampered by illness and did not score.
However, Davis recorded three straight assists, all to fellow senior Hannah Langhi, as Marshall County pulled away to a 34-18 lead after McCracken County closed to 28-18 in the final quarter.
Langhi had 16 points to lead the winners. Hayden led the Lady Mustangs with six.
McCracken County ended the season at 15-19.
MC 7 17 26 37
6 7 13 21
MARSHALL CO.: Tera Colson 4, Lexee Miller 7, Miyah Davis, Paige Henson 2, Hannah Langhi 16, Chloe Kerrick, Jessica Hicks 2, Lorin Powell 6,
McCRACKEN CO.: Lauren Smith 2, Meagan Hayden 6, MacKenzie Blackford 3, Sarah Adams 4, Jalyn Warren, Mary Beavers 3, Abby Ellington 3, Karlie Hatton, Madison Giltner, Rebecca Wiliams
MC 59, Carlisle Co. 28
MURRAY – Marshall County took a 5-3 lead on a 4-point shot by Miyah Davis and led the rest of the way in a First Region tournament first-round game Feb. 27 at the CFSB Center.
The Lady Comets, 21-5, came into the regional with 21 victories under their belts as champions of the First District.
They battled the Fourth District runner-up Lady Marshals until Hannah Langhi scored three straight baskets to push the Marshall County lead to 15-8, and never got closer than five points before the Lady Marshals pulled steadily away.
Miyah Davis had five 3-point baskets and 17 points to lead Marshall County. Langhi added 12.
Sophomore Taylor Carrico led Carlisle County with 12 points.
MC 17 33 45 59
10 15 20 28
MARSHALL CO.: Tera Colson 5, Lexee Miller 2, Miyah Davis 17, Paig Henson 8, Hannah Langhi 12, Chloe Greer, Chasse Clark, Carlen Whirley, Whitnee Miller 2, Chloe Kerrick 3. Emily Bridges, Jessica Hicks 2, Lorin Powell 6, Carmen Gunn 2, Tori Ford
CARLISLE CO.: Taylor Carrico 12, Mollie Henderson 3, Kaitlin Smith, Mackena Edging 2, Hannah Stephans 2, Carleigh O’Neil, Maddison Wright, Landry Crider, Alana Coffee 7, Brianna Hooper, Alexis Hall 2, Kakin Garrett