For the first time this season, two Marion County basketball teams matched up on the court Tuesday night, but it was the road team that came away with the victory.
The East Marion Lady Eagles (4-2) came back from an early first-quarter hole to beat the Lady Trojans (0-3) 45-28 at West Marion. East Marion was down 12-7 after the first quarter but outscored the Lady Trojans 36-14 in the second and third quarters combined.
West Marion head coach Steven Fortenberry said injury and foul trouble played a role in East Marion taking control, along with the play of East Marion’s Tytianna Porter.
“We lost our point guard (Hannah Miller) the game before. She had an ACL tear, so we lost her for the year. Our other point guard (Shania Jefferson) got in foul trouble in the second quarter, so that really hurt. We had very few ball handlers out there on the court,” he said. “That’s taking nothing away from East Marion, though. No. 4 (Porter) really effected everything we wanted to do on offense and defense. She was literally that good for them on both sides of the ball.”
The Lady Eagles have had trouble recently scoring with point guard Destiny Brown with an ankle injury and has been relying on their defense during their current three-game win streak.
“Our defense created some offense,” head coach Calvin Brown said. “We were able to get up twice as many attempts, so we had that many more chances to score. But we still have a good ways to go for offensive production.”
Brown added the Lady Eagles are going to have to find a way to improve their offense as the season wears on.
“When there’s (teams) we can’t speed up and turnover, at some point we’re going to have to be able to execute,” he said.
Fortenberry said he will be looking for a new player to pick up the slack for losing Miller.
“We got to make a committed effort to get the ball into the paint. We have a new girl (J’Niaha Stampley), who is 5-foot-10, and I really think she has a lot of potential. She just hasn’t showed it yet,” he said. “In practice she looks really good. We just have to convert what we do in practice into games. We look really good at times in practice. When the lights come on and the referees show up, it’s a different group sometimes.”
Jefferson and Keatra Harvey, who made three 3-pointers, led the Lady Trojans with nine points each, while Stampley had 12 rebounds and six blocks despite scoring only four points. East Marion’s stats were unavailable at press time.
East Marion played at Columbia Friday night (results unavailable) and will host Laurel Tuesday at 6 p.m.
West Marion will also be at home Tuesday, hosting Seminary in Foxworth, after playing Salem on its home court Friday.
Pictured Above: East Marion's Cassidy Sanders tries to get past West Marion's Shania Jefferson. | Photo by Joshua Campbell