Marshall-Thomas Nelson photo

The Marshals’ Brady Miller (14) guards Thomas Nelson’s Braden Smith (3) in Marshall County’s 62-54 loss on Sunday night in the final game of the 2021 Marshall County HoopFest.

DRAFFENVILLE — After a much needed win on Saturday night, Marshall County returned to the court for a matchup against Thomas Nelson on Sunday at Reed Conder Gymnasium. The Generals, however, left the court with a 62-54 victory on the last day of HoopFest.

“Today was a polar-opposite from (Saturday) night. I thought we were the fresher team and thought we competed a little hard than the team we played last night,” Marshals head coach Terry Birdsong said. “Thought it was kind of a role reversal today. Our kids competed but were a step slow today.

“With everything that has happened, we’re just not in good enough shape to play an 8:30 night game and turn around to play a 4:30 game the next day,” he said.

Trailing by two with seconds to go in the first quarter, Riley Smith’s offensive skill set pushed the Marshals up, 20-19. By intermission, Marshall County led 33-29.

“Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to your opponent. Thomas Nelson had a good game plan with their guards. You could tell we weren’t ready to play, getting down 11-4 in the first half,” Birdsong added.

Although the defensive efforts of the Marshals (4-8) kept the Generals at bay in the first half, they could not muster up enough offense in the second half to finish out the game. In the second half, Thomas Nelson (10-3) outscored Marshall County, 33-21.

It was a stark contrast from the last meeting between the two teams in January when the Marshals took home a 77-54 victory.

“We beat this team by 24 only six weeks ago, but they have gotten a lot better and we just didn’t have any legs today,” Birdsong added. “Each night will be different — some nights you’ll be fresh, other times you won’t.”

Despite the loss, Colby Schroader led all scorers with 26 points; 15 of which came from knocking down 3-pointers. In addition, Quinn Smith and Cole Mills added a combined 15 points between the two.

For Thomas Nelson (10-3), Riley Brown led his team to victory with 19 points.

The Marshals will host Ballard Memorial on Tuesday night and then face Union County on Friday night at Reed Conder Gymnasium.

Thomas Nelson19 10 19 14 — 62

Marshall Co20 13 12 9 — 54

THOMAS NELSON: Brown 19, Hogan 14, Smith 10, Grindley 9, Downs 9, Keene 5. Field goals: 12. 3- pointers 11 (Hogan 3, Downs 2, Brown 2, Grindley 2, Smith, Keene). Free throws: 5/14. Fouls: 12. Record: 10-3.

MARSHALL COUNTY: Schroader 26, Q. Smith 8, Mills 7, R. Smith 6, Harmon 5, Miller 2. Field goals: 16. 3- pointers: 6 (Schroader 5, Harmon). Free throws: 4/10. Fouls: 15. Record: 4-8.

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