Marion County head coach Fran McPherson kept it short and sweet with her team trailing Manchester 22-14 at halftime on Friday.
“I told them in there, ‘You’re not always going to be ahead,’” Fran McPherson said. “‘You’re playing great teams from now on. You better be ready. If you do, you’ve got to recover with defense and rebounding.’”
McPherson’s words rang true for the Lady Eagles. After a uncharacteristically sloppy first half, Marion responded to beat Manchester 52-45 for its 10th consecutive victory.
The third-quarter resurgence for Marion County (18-4) came from improved defense and rebounding like McPherson pointed out.
Torri Meyers and Kamille McCannon preyed upon The Lady Angels’ errant passes repeatedly to help Marion County take its first lead of the contest.
Meyers finished the game with eight points, six rebounds and three steals. McCannon, meanwhile, registered 10 points, two rebounds and two steals.
“When our guards start running and we get the ball to them, they’re fast and they’re hard to catch,” McPherson said. “We did a good job. For us, it starts with rebounding.”
The duo’s defense coupled with great play by Jamesha Williams helped the Lady Eagles power past Manchester (9-8). The freshman continued to impress, putting up a game-high 15 points in the victory.
“She’s our emotional leader,” McPherson said. “I thought she was the difference maker in getting us fired up and getting into it.”
The victory came as a needed test for the Lady Eagles. McPherson said she stressed to the team that it was a must-win game, as it now sets up a region-deciding matchup at Greenville on Tuesday.
With the region on the line and a state tournament appearance potentially coming soon, the team members took Friday’s poor start to prove it could still find a way to win.
“That one wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” McPherson said.