MCS Eagles get best of Hawks
By Will Estep | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Lady Eagles picked up three of their five losses the last 12 days but none came in conference play and Maryville Christian kept it that way Monday night with a 52-40 over Tennessee Christian Preparatory School to remain perfect in Southern Christian Athletic Association play.
Rachel Hamby finished with a team-high 16 points for Maryville Christian and Hannah Caldwell put in a dozen as the Lady Eagles were shorthanded with only seven players due to illness.
Tennessee Christian was paced by Neeley Benton’s 24. Benton and the Lady Hawks trailed by a bucket at halftime before Maryville Christian erupted for 24-8 run in the third to take a 45-27 lead.
“I was really proud with how we were playing as far as the ball movement,” Maryville Christian coach Mark Williamson said. “I was pretty pleased with how the defense was keeping the ball out of the middle, and we were getting some good rebounds, and I knew that once the offense started to click we were going to be OK.”
Hamby helped kick-start the high-scoring third quarter with a 3-pointer that gave Maryville Christian (11-5, 9-0) a 26-20 lead.
Karli Pharris, who finished with 8, hit a 3-pointer to end the quarter that gave the Lady Eagles the 18-point advantage.
The win was the second of the season for MCS over Tennessee Christian. Early on however, the Lady Hawks were the birds of prey taking a 14-5 lead behind Benton and Merritt Jenkins. The duo combined to score the first 14 points for the vicisotors before Maryville Christian rallied in the second quarter.
“The buckets weren’t falling for us,” Williamson said. “On offense, we were just a bit stale in the beginning. They came out with a man-to-man pressure, and if I knew we could beat that pressure, they would pull out and try to get into a zone.”
Payton Miles finished with eight points including two free throws in the third quarter that gave Maryville Christian their first double-digit lead of the second half at 36-25.
EAGLES 61, Tenn Christian 45
Maryville Christian coach Chad Fields was glad to see his team back on the home court. The Eagles had lost five straight games but that all came to an end.
The Eagles jumped out early and never trailed on the way to a 61-45 win.
Peyton O’Briant and J.T. Caldwell each finished with 15 points in a game where MCS (11-10, 8-1) jumped out to an early 9-0 lead. O’Briant finished with a double-double pulling down 10 rebounds, and scored 6 of the Eagles’ first 10 to start the second half after Tennessee Christian pulled within 3 at the half.
“It is so nice to get that monkey off our back,” Fields said. “We were kind of down, but tonight we finally played our game and won.”
Jay Gibson led Tennessee Christian with 15 points and Jacob Coleman finished up with 13.
Isaiah Caldwell put in 12 points, all on 3-pointers, for Maryville Christian.
MCS Lady Eagles 52, Tennessee Christian Prep 40
TCPS 9 10 8 13 — 40
MCS 5 16 24 7 — 52
TENN CHRISTIAN PREPARATORY — Neeley Benton 24, Merritt Jenkins 9, Tabitha Frady 5, Chloe Morgan 2.
MARYVILLE CHRISTIAN (11-5, 9-0 SCAA) — Rachel Hamby 16, Hannah Caldwell 12, Karli Pharris 8, Payton Miles 8, Allison Hamby 4, Alex Williamson 4.
3-POINTERS — Tennessee Christian 3 (Benton 3); Maryville Christian 3 (Rachel Hamby 2, Pharris).
MCS Eagles 61, Tennessee Christian Preparatory 45
TCPS 11 15 10 9 — 45
MCS 19 10 19 13 — 61
TENN CHRISTIAN PREPARATORY — Jay Gibson 15, Jacob Coleman 13, Israel Turner 4, Zach Payton 4, David Thompson 3, Andy Chase 2, Luke Benton 2, Clayton Harris 1, Eric Hall 1.
MARYVILLE CHRISTIAN (11-10, 8-1 SCAA) — Peyton O’Briant 15, JT Caldwell 15, Isaiah Caldwell 12, Zach Wilburn 9, Bob Bishop 7, A.J. Brown 2, Ben Husky 1.
3-POINTERS — Tennessee Christian 3 (Gibson 3); Maryville Christian 5 (Isaiah Caldwell 4, Wilburn).