DRAFFENVILLE – The Murray High Tigers shook off a with a slow start to eventually defeat the Madisonville-North Hopkins Maroons 57-49 Saturday in their matchup in the Marshall County HoopFest, thanks to 20 points apiece from junior point guard Charqwan McCallister and sophomore guard Grant Whitaker.
The Tigers (9-5) found themselves trailing 9-0 early as they looked shaky and tentative after a week off. The Maroons (5-4) hit the first three field goals of the game, forcing Murray Head Coach Dior Curtis to call a timeout just barely over two minutes into the first quarter after a Maroon 3-pointer from the top of the key. Murray regrouped and fought back to take the lead 13-12 on a Whitaker 3-pointer from the left wing. After closing out the quarter on a 15-5 run, Murray held a narrow 15-14 lead.
“I feel like some rotational things weren’t there,” said Curtis. “Some box-out stuff that we talked about and toughness this time of the year, but we’re trying to become a more versatile team defensively, not just play teams man-to-man all the time. We put in some two-three zone stuff and we knew today would be a good day to work on it and we know moving forward.”
In the second quarter, McCallister took over offensively and scored eight of his 20 points as the teams traded baskets and leads multiple times and headed to the locker room with the Tigers up 30-27.
The beginning of the third quarter saw more lead changes until McCallister started a 7-0 run for the Tigers to close out the quarter and had Murray leading 46-39 going into the final period.
The Tigers finished the game outscoring the Maroons 11-10 to keep them from the comeback, as McCallister scored six more and Madisonville-North Hopkins just couldn’t manage to cut the gap the rest of the way.
Additional scoring and production for Murray came from a superb all-around game from junior forward Trey Boggess, as he scored six points, led the team with eight rebounds, hounded the Maroons for six steals and threw in an assist. McCallister had seven rebounds along with his offense. Senior guard Gabe Taylor scored nine points and grabbed three boards and senior forward Dijon Miles had two points to go along with four rebounds.