MURRAY - Thursday's exciting girl's 4th District Championship game between the Lady Marshals and Murray High's Lady Tigers took two overtime periods to decide the outcome in what seemed to be shaping up as a repeat of last year's overtime one point victory by the Lady Marshals over Murray.
Up by six points over Murray with a minute to go in the second overtime, the Lady Marshals looked poised to repeat as 4th District Champions, but the Lady Tigers closed the game out on a 8-1 run to win 70-69 and take the 4th District title.
Murray's Janssen Starks was on her game with 28 points, going 10 for 11 from the free throw line but getting a lot of help from teammate Elizabeth Grogan who scored 15 of her 21 points in the first half of the game. The Lady Marshals were led by Taylor Meadows with 22 points who hit five three pointers in the loss to Murray High.
In pre-game radio comments, Lady Marshals Head Coach Joseph Simmons felt his team would be relaxed and ready to go after the pressure of making the Regional tournament was behind them.
Meadows started the game off with a three that was followed by a basket by Murray's Julie Thiede and five points from Starks to give Murray a 7-3 lead. Meadows dropped in her second three of the game to pull the Lady Marshals to within one of Murray as the Lady Marshals took their first lead of the game at 14-13 following a goal from Rachael Reed. Another basket by Murray gave the Lady Tigers a 15-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
For the second time in the game, Grogan was open down court for the long pass and easy basket for Murray which she followed up with a three on their next offensive possession to put the Lady Tigers up 22-18 in the second quarter. Murray led by as much as eight points in the second quarter that the Lady Marshals cut to six when Meadows was fouled in the process of shooting a three in the closing seconds, hitting all three free throws to trail Murray 30-24 at halftime.
Not until near the end of the third quarter would the Lady Marshals take the lead back from Murray at 37-36, stretching that lead out to four after a three pointer by Meadows. Murray put the next four points on the board to tie the game up at 40 a piece going into the fourth quarter.
Alyssa Barnard scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to give the Lady Marshals a 44-40 lead. The two teams tied things up again at 45 and 48, when baskets by Bailey Greer and Meadows put them back up by four points. A Starks steal, basket and foul pulled Murray back to within one point with 1:15 to go in the game and with 45 seconds remaining, the score was tied again at 53 a piece. The Lady Marshals turned the ball over to Murray and with 7.4 seconds remaining, and the Lady Tigers would be called for an over-and-back that gave the Lady Marshals the ball back. Starks came up with a steal and threw up a last chance shot that was go good taking the game into overtime.
Murray struck first in overtime play with a basket from Thiede that was duplicated at the other end with a basket from Barnard. With just under a minute in the four minute overtime period, the Lady Marshals trailed 62-59, pulling to within one after a field goal from McKenty, Murray ran the clock down to 10 seconds then called a time out. Out of the time out, a foul was called on Greer sending Kalai Trice to the free throw line where she missed both with Alex Brown coming up with the rebound. On the Lady Marshals offensive end, a foul on Barnard sent her to the line with a chance to tie and win the game with two seconds on the clock. The first free throw was good, securing the tie, and the second one missed to send the game into a second overtime.
Barnard put the Lady Marshals up 64-62 with the first basket in the second overtime period and a couple of Lady Tiger turnovers and basket by Toni Fehrenbacher gave the Lady Marshals a 66-62 lead with 2:00 to go. Another bucket by Barnard put the team up by six with 1:19 left to play. Following missed free throws from Meadows, Starks' basket pulled the Lady Tigers to within four points with 57 seconds on the clock. McKenty added a point with a free throw to keep the Lady Marshal lead at five points when a foul on Fehrenbacher sent Trice to the line again, this time sinking one to pull back to within four of the Lady Marshals. With 25 seconds to go, Starks three pointer pulled them to within one as the Lady Marshals turned the ball over on their next possession when a tie-up gave the ball the Murray on alternating possessions. Forced to foul, the Lady Marshals put Starks on the free throw line who tied the game with her first made free throw and put them up 70-69 with the second giving Murray the 4th District Championship.
Marshall: Field Goals 24/53, 3 Pointers 5/13, Free Throws 16/24, Total Rebounds 32, Fouls 18, Assists 17, Turnovers 18, Steals 9
Murray: Field Goals 22/50, 3 Pointers 6/18, Free Throws 20/28, Total Rebounds 32, Fouls 15, Assists 10, Turnovers 15, Steals 12
Marshall: Meadows 22, Brown 13, Barnard 13, McKenty 9, Reed 6, Greer 4, Fehrenbacher 2
Murray: Starks 28, Grogan 21, Thiede 8, Trice 6, Waldrop 4, Turley 3
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