JASPER, Tenn.–On a night where Marion County’s homecoming queen was announced and honored, the real queens of the court looked to be in full form against an undermanned Van Buren County squad.
Building on their already impressive 2-game district cushion, the Warriors scampered on after some early hurdles to pick up the 68-36 victory at home.
“They were fired up to play this game,” Lady Warriors head coach Randy Ellis said. “We got in foul trouble early. We had everybody with fouls sitting on the bench. Almost all of our girls had two fouls in the first quarter.”
Van Buren County was missing a key player in Hannah Sullivan who injured her ankle Thursday night against Bledsoe County. Tuesday night’s matchup, though, could have put the Eaglettes securely in second place in district 6-A.
“The injuries have a been a little bit of a factor this year,” Van Buren County head coach Tyler Sapp said. “Mika Davis, who played tonight, got hurt at the beginning of the year, and she’s just a freshman, but I thought she could have had a big impact early in the season. Sullivan being hurt tonight really hurt us. They still beat us by 20 at home…but you never know what can happen. She’s been our most consistent player for two weeks now.”
Early in the ballgame, Van Buren County held their own against a very motivated Warrior team, only trailing by seven at the end of the first quarter. It seemed as though the 20-point margin in these teams’ last matchup would not make a repeat appearance.
Cue Hannah Phillips, Breanna Vinson, and one-half of the dynamic duo Webb sisters, Emily, who combined for 17 of the 19 second quarter points. While doing all of that, they managed to hold Van Buren’s Tilly Dodson scoreless and Mallory Christian to six points, accounting for the two biggest scoring threats on any given night. for the Eaglettes.
“Everything just started clicking,” Ellis said. “We started hitting threes, and they just played hard. It’s tough. There’s a lot of pressure to win these kind of games when you’ve had even a decent year. We had some great leadership from Emily and Hannah tonight.”
Out of halftime where the Warriors led 37-21, the Marion County train kept rolling until Van Buren County was forced off the tracks. The LAdy Warriors hit six shots from behind the arc in the second half on their way to a 68-36 victory over the Eaglettes.
The win not only lifted Marion County higher in the district standings, but it put some disparity into the rest of the pack.
“I have no idea right now where we sit because it’s tough with Lookout Valley,” Sapp said. “We beat them at home by 20-plus, and then they beat us by eleven down there. I want to say that we’re better than Lookout Valley right now because I want to have confidence in my girls, but it’s a toss up for the two-spot right now. We’ve still got beat South Pittsburg to even have a hope of getting the two-seed in the district tournament.”
Van Buren County hosts South Pittsburg Friday night while the Lady Warriors to the Pirates’ court on Thursday.
MCHS — 15 | 19 | 25 | 9 || 68
VBHS — 8 | 13 | 8 | 7 || 36
MCHS (68) — Hannah Phillips (23), Breanna Vinson (15), Emily Webb (13)
VBHS (36) — Mallory Christian (8), Mika Davis (6), Sydney Bouldin (5), Lily Frederick (5)