Martin girls too generous in title game
Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
Turnovers, turnovers and even more turnovers.
That is what Martin Middle School girls endured Friday night at the TMSAA Small School West Sectional Championship game against Corry Middle School.
Corry used a pressure defense and used it well to put the Lady Panthers into an early hole in a 44-27 loss for Martin.
Martin turned the ball over six times in the first period, while the Lady Eagles only turned the ball over one time and led 14-3 at the end of the period.
The second period was not much better for the Lady Panthers. Although the defense played better in the period and forced the Lady Eagles into some turnovers, the offense continued to struggle and only scored four points. Martin got its first points of the period at the two minute mark on a short jumper by Erin Bell.
“It was easy to see that we did not play very well in the first half,” Lady Panthers head coach Bethany Palmer said. “We tried to turn it up in the second half, which is the effort we needed the entire four quarters. They came out and played a great game and got up in our shorts and did not like it. We played two quarters and they played four.”
After beating undefeated Bolivar in the quarterfinals, the Lady Panthers had a tall order with the undefeated Lady Eagles. Martin finishes its season with a 16-7 record. Corry finishes with an unblemished, 24-0 record.
The Lady Eagles hit two 3-pointers within the first minute of the opening period after two Martin turnovers. T.T. Vincent found herself open for a 3-pointer to make the 6-3. Then Corry went on a 14-point run that carried over into the second period. The Lady Panthers were in a 23-7 hole at the end of the first half.
It was the pressure defense by the Lady Eagles that gave Martin trouble all through the first half. The Lady Panthers struggled to even get the ball across halfcourt. The Lady Panthers committed 24 turnovers in the game.
“We knew they were going to pressure us and we scrimmaged the boys to get a different look,” Palmer said. “We tried to get more pressure and you either have got to be ready for it or not. I guess the girls did not think I was serious when I said they were going to pressure us.”
Although the Lady Panthers played better in the second half, they had too much of a deficit to overcome. Martin went on a 12-4 run in the third that ended when Tesia Thompson hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer the make the score 30-19. Thompson led all scorers with 18 points. Vincent led Martin with eight points.
Martin cut the lead to nine on a layup by Erica Batchelor with 5:46 to go in the game. The Lady Panthers got the lead down to eight at 34-26 with 2:56 to play on a jump shot by Kaycie Moultrie but could get no closer as Corry went on 10-1 run to close out the game. Moultrie scored six points for the Lady Panthers and was named to the all-tournament team.
It was an emotional loss for the team and especially for the eighth-graders, who Palmer has coached since they were sixth-graders in her first as head coach. This is the deepest the Lady Panthers have been in the tournament with Palmer at the helm.
“I have had most of the eighth-graders since they were in the sixth grade and they have been through a lot,” Palmer said. “This is the furthest we have gotten and it is something to be proud of and I am very proud of every one of them, especially the eighth-graders.”
Batchelor scored six points for the Lady Panthers. Kennedy Basham added three followed by Tasia Jones and Bell with each scoring two points for Martin. Dornesha Tate scored 13 for Corry followed by Stephanie Turner’s seven and Brianna Boyd with four. Published in The WCP 2.14.12