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Wildcats’ bench too much for Tigers

Posted on Monday, January 29, 2024 at 4:41 pm

Post Photo by Dennis Holley Marcus O’Neal battles his way through the Tullahoma defense and goes up for two.

Sports Writer
LEWISBURG — In the nightcap game on Friday, the Marshall County Tigers faced a rematch with the Wildcats of Tullahoma High School.
Having lost at Tullahoma two weeks ago, the Tigers aimed for some payback but instead were dealt a second loss by the Wildcats as Tullahoma used its deep bench with eight players scoring to deal Marshall County a 62-51 District-8 loss.
The Tigers were led in scoring by Jamal Gentry with 16 points, Jabrae Howard with 13 points and Marcus O’Neal’s 10 points.
The Wildcats were led in scoring by four players in double figures. Xavier Ferrell led the way with 17, Deandre Jenkins added 12, Keegan Taylor chipped in 10 and Jaiden Sanchez also added 10.
Jaiden Sanchez opened the scoring for the Wildcats, but baskets by Jabrae Howard and Aja Jones for the Tigers answered and the Tigers led, 4-2.
Jamahl Gentry sank a 3-pointer to put the Tigers in the lead 7-2, but Tullahoma’s Xavier Ferrell drained a 3-pointer of his own to cut into the Tiger lead now at 7-5.
Howard for the Tigers sank a free throw but Tullahoma’s Ferrell scored on a put back to make the score 8-7.
Ferrell and Sanchez helped the Wildcats build a 20-11 Wildcat lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Wildcats went on a 6-0 run to open the second quarter before Marshall County’s Jamahl Gentry sank two free throws.
Tullahoma’s Ferrell answered with a basket and the Wildcats led 28-13.
Jones, Marcus O’Neal, and Gentry answered back with baskets with Gentry scoring on a steal and with 3:10 left until halftime the Tigers trailed 28-20.
Ferrell for Tullahoma scored a basket and O’Neal sank two free throws, but the Wildcats answered with Keegan Taylor and Bryson Steverson sinking baskets to make the score 34-22.
O’Neal scored a 3-pointer, but Tullahoma’s Deandre Jenkins answered to make the score 37-22.
O’Neal later drained a 3-pointer and Gentry sank a free throw to end the quarter as Marshall County trailed 37-26 when the halftime horn sounded.
The third quarter saw the Wildcats extend their lead to 13 points, 50-37, but the fourth quarter would give the Tiger faithful something to cheer as the Tigers fought back.
Gentry drilled a 3-pointer and Kamarion Allen matched it with a 3-pointer of his own and suddenly the Tigers only trailed by seven points, 50-43.
With 6:38 left in the game, Gentry sank a free throw to cut the lead to six, 50-44.
With five minutes to go Gentry added another free throw to cut the lead to five points, 50-45 with Tullahoma still not having scored in the quarter.
At the 4:35 mark of the fourth quarter, a basket by Howard cut the Wildcat lead to three points, 50-47 as the Marshall County crowd came to life.
Howard then sank two free-throws to slice the Tullahoma lead to one point at 50-49 before two free throws by Jenkins and a basket by Khani Johnson gave the Wildcats a little breathing room, now leading 54-49.
A basket Jones brought the Tigers back to 54-51, but frantic play to get back into the game cost the Tigers as they fought the Wildcats and the time on the clock leading to Tullahoma shooting free throws.
The Wildcats took advantage of the free throw attempts and made 8-of-9.

Tullahoma 20 17 13 12— 62
Marshall Co. 11 15 11 14 — 51

Tullahoma: Xavier Ferrell 17, Deandre Jenkins 12, Keegan Taylor 10, Jaiden Sanchez 10, Khani Johnson 8, Bryson Steverson 2, Malik Grizzard 2, Austen Tinnen 1.
MCHS (51): Jamal Gentry 16, Jabrae Howard 13, Marcus O’Neal 10, Aja Jones 9, Kemarion Allen 3.
3-Point Goals Marshall Co.: (5): Gentry 3, O’Neal, Allen; Tullahoma (3): Taylor 2, Ferrell.
Halftime Score: Tullahoma 37, Marshall Co. 24.