Marshall girls knock off NCMC foe
Even with three Courtwarming queen candidates in uniform, there's nothing pretty about the Marshall girls' basketball team -- at least in its style of play.
That's fine with head coach Jeff Martin, whose Lady Owls kept "winning ugly" Saturday with a 42-33 NCMC decision over visiting Hannibal. After scoring 10 first-quarter points, the Lady Pirates didn't again reach double digits in a frame the rest of the way -- Marshall pulling away by holding its opponent to 33.3-percent field-goal shooting.
"They came in wanting to play half-court basketball," Martin noted. "They weren't going to beat us at that game."
Without having to worry about getting gussied up for the Courtwarming ceremony -- postponed until this Saturday's home finale against Mexico -- the Lady Owls played their customary down-and-dirty defense, forcing 24 turnovers.
"We made a good attempt to put a lot of pressure on the basketball," said Martin. A 7-0 run at the end of the first half gave Marshall a 22-18 lead at the break, a gap eventually reaching 11 points during the fourth quarter. "We started playing a little harder and a little more physical."
That was especially the case in the paint, where senior Brandel Jones blocked five shots and junior Angela Kirchhoff rejected another attempt and drew a charge.
"They're really underrated as far as defensive players go," Martin said about his six-foot posts. "People seem to think they can attack them."
Most teams have learned differently, such as state-ranked Helias -- which barely escaped with a 42-40 victory the previous week after seeing five of its shots blocked. Martin said Hannibal "made a concerted effort to go down low to the Williams sisters," senior Angela and sophomore Dominique, who combined for 13 points. Senior Charlotte Best's nine points led the Lady Pirates (9-12, 0-4 NCMC), losers of six straight.
Senior Ashley Fann had 12 points, Jones added eight points and seven rebounds and five other Lady Owls scored at least four points. Marshall (10-9, 2-1) will be at home today for a league clash with Fulton.