This past Friday night was rivalry night in Jackson County and the Malone – Marianna basketball rivalry is at the top of the list. Marianna made the trip north to Malone to take on the Tigers. This was the first meeting of these two teams this year and the win went to the visiting Bulldogs. Malone ran out of gas in the final quarter, with Marianna securing the 71-43 win.
The Bulldogs and Tigers were at a dead-even heat in the first quarter with 14 points on the board for each team. For Marianna, it was Ny’Keem Gainer and Steffon McMillian with four points each while Malone’s Taylor Brown garnished four points, with Ocasio Murff with three points and Jarrod Southwell hitting one from outside for the Tigers.
Marianna found another gear in the second quarter posting 17 points while Malone was held to nine points. McMillian continued his scoring fury with six points, including a three. For Malone, it was Spencer Sneads with four points to lead the Tigers. Halfway through the game, Marianna held a 31-23 lead.
It was the home team Tigers with a burst of energy when they took the court in the third quarter, posting 19 points with Marianna countering with 16. Stefon continued to lead the Bulldogs with four points, while Keegan Jones and Tavis Grooms both nailed a shot from downtown. Malone’s Taylor Brown was in the spotlight with eight points, while Spencer Floyd was on board with five. With one quarter to go, Marianna’s lead had narrowed to 47-42.
The fourth quarter was all Marianna with the Bulldogs putting up 24 points, with McMillian pacing his team with six points while seven other Bulldogs put up points in the quarter. For Malone, it was Taylor Brown with a three and Jarrod Southwell with a basket.
Leading the Tigers on the night was Taylor Brown with 18 points, followed by Spencer Sneads and Ocasio Murff with six points each. On board with five points each were Jarrod Southwell, Spencer Floyd and Josh Rivers. Marianna was led on the night by Steffon McMillian with 19 points, followed by Tavis Grooms in double digits with 13. On board with nine points was Ny’Keem Gainer, with James Davis, Kegan Jones, JJ Jackson, and Ahmaad Johnson with six points each.