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Lady Knights take down No. 6 team in state

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By Jessica Veatch and Josh Veatch

The Marion County Lady Knights varsity basketball team went on the road Saturday night to play Madison Central, a top 10-ranked team in the state. The Lady Knights played with near perfection, and came away with an impressive 34 point crushing of the Lady Indians to push their record to 5-0 on the season.
The Lady Knights jumped out to a 6-0 lead early on, and kept the highly rated Laryn Brooks and Ashton Feldhaus in check all night long. After the opening quarter, Marion County had doubled up Madison Central and the Lady Knights were just getting warmed up. The second quarter was much of the same for the Lady Knights as they allowed the Lady Indians to score back-to-back points on only two occasions over the entire first half. At the break, Marion County held a 10-point lead, 26-16.
During the third quarter Marion County broke the game open. Marion County connected on nine of 14 field goal attempts, and nailed four three pointers.  The last of those three’s by seventh-grader Haeli Howard with 40 seconds left, gave the Lady Knights their biggest lead to that point at 48-25. Marion County used an 11-0 run early in the final frame to clinch the game. From the 5:52 mark, when the score was 48-27, until 3:20 remained, when the score grew to 59-27, the Lady Knights did not allow the Lady Indians to score a point. Marion County would go on to collect the 34 point win and remain unbeaten on the season.
“We played like I knew we could if we put four quarters together,” Head Coach Trent Milby said. “Defense was outstanding and offense was very patient. It excites me about how this team played and I wish we played again, like now.”
Coach Milby also commented on the play of a couple of players.
“Patrice Tonge played outstanding by diving on the floor, rebounding, and on offense,” he said. “This could have been her breakout game to show everyone how much talent she has. I am very excited to see her play like that. Alexus Calhoun gave us energy and hustle in first half along with defensive presence in middle with five blocks. She has improved her physicality and it is starting to show.”
The Lady Knights traveled to Green County last night in their final tune-up before heading to Phoenix, Ariz., to take part in the Nike Tournament of Champions. Results of that game were unknown as of press time.
After Marion County arrives in Phoenix, they are scheduled to play St. John’s College, a team from Washington D.C., that finished last season with a record of 33-2 and is currently ranked as the No. 4 team in America.  
Coach Milby is prepared to take his team to Arizona.
“We are looking forward to the challenge and the competition out there,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for some of these kids to showcase their talent in front of over 100 college coaches. This is not an ordinary tournament. This is the best of the best in America. Out of the 16 team bracket, we are the 10th or 11th rated team, so it will be great challenge for us and will be a lot of fun, win or lose.”   

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Marion County    14 12 22 16 - 64
Madison Central     7   9    9   5 - 30
Marion County (5-0): Kyvin Goodin-Rogers 18, Patrice Tonge 11, Makayla Epps 9, Alexus Calhoun 8, Bre Elder 7, Logan Powell 5, Haeli Howard 54, Timmera Burton 1
Madison Central (2-2):  Laryn Brooks 12, Ashton Feldhaus 9, Kristen Congleton 7, Aleia Miller 2