The McKenzie High School Rebels took a step closer to securing the top seed for the upcoming District 11A tournament, but there is much work to do.
The Rebels improved to 12-8 overall and 6-2 in the district after a pivotal 63-49 victory at West Carroll Friday night.
McKenzie was boosted by Marquez Taylor, who had 13 of his game-high 28 points in the first quarter. The Rebels were able to take a 23-12 lead at the buzzer. The War Eagles struggled to find the mark. McKenzie took an 8-0 lead before West Carroll scored with 3:59 to play in the first.
West Carroll had better success in the second frame. Luke Moore rang the bell for seven of his nine first-half points, but the Rebels were still able to lead by 20 by halftime, 39-19.
In the third frame, the War Eagles’ Jalen Anglin deposited 12 points and West Carroll closed the gap to eight, 49-41. West Carroll out-produced the Rebels 22-10 in that frame.
McKenzie settled in after a six-point rush from Eli Surber, who buried three triples during the game to finish with 15.
Anglin had 20, Moore had 14 for West Carroll as the War Eagles fell to 9-10, 4-2 in district play. Both 11A losses are to the Rebels.
In the opener, the No. 3-ranked McKenzie Lady Rebels improved to 20-1 overall, 8-0 in 11A after defeating host West Carroll 61-24.
McKenzie rolled to 21-2 lead in the first quarter and expanded its advantage to 34-7 at intermission.
McKenzie pressure defense was a challenge for the Lady War Eagles. Kylie Reynolds led McKenzie with 12 points, Mikaela Reynolds added 11, and Savannah Davis recorded 10. Ten Lady Rebels scored.
Mia Jones led West Carroll with eight; Erin Norman added five; Noelle Roberts, Amaya Thompson and Skylar Jones each scored three; and Kelsey Holmes had two.
Tuesday night, McKenzie’s boys suffered a stunning 43-38 defeat at the hands of the host Hollow Rock-Bruceton Central Tigers. In the opener, 11 Lady Rebels scored as they defeated the Lady Tigers 59-22.
In the boys’ tilt, Central launched seven triples and stayed in striking range the whole game. McKenzie struggled on offense. The 38-point total was the lowest of the season for MHS, and the Rebels and Tigers were deadlocked at 9 when the first quarter ended. In the second frame, Austin Craig drained a three, his second, while Thomas Crews pitched in four points.
The Rebels, however, were able to edge in front at the break, 14-13. In the third, Eli Surber and Elijah Seivers helped guide MHS in front 28-23 with their combined two triples and two deuces. But Central rolled in the final frame, outpacing the Rebels 20-10. Haskins, Craig and Crews buried threes and catalyzed the Tiger run to the end.
Craig led the Tigers with 14, Crews had 12 and Haskins scored 10.
Marquez Taylor had 12 to lead the tepid Rebels.
Kylie Reynolds had 13, Savannah Davis 10 to lead McKenzie. McKenzie surged to a 43-8 halftime lead.
Keagan Binkley led the Lady Tigers with seven points, and Neveah Davis scored six.
McKenzie traveled to Big Sandy Tuesday and hosts Huntingdon Friday. Hollow Rock-Bruceton hosted West Carroll Tuesday and visits Clarksburg Friday. West Carroll visits Greenfield Thursday and hosts Big Sandy Friday.