By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
BIGGERSVILLE – Craig Dailey has 1,000 career victories and 11 state championships, including the last two, coaching high school basketball.
However, one title’s missing – an MAIS Overall Championship.
Dailey, a Burnsville native, believes this season’s Marshall Academy boys team, 12-0 and ranked No. 1 in the state in the MAIS Class AA rankings, has the depth and scoring punch to make it happen.
“We’re favored to win state, but our goal is to win Overall,” Dailey said Saturday, after watching the Patriots defeat Alcorn Central 78-65 in the Biggersville Shootout. “I think this team gives us the best shot.”
Dailey’s son, Dakota, a sophomore guard, scored a game-high 28 points and kick-started a third-quarter rally to lift Marshall Academy to its win against the Golden Bears.
Dakota Dailey scored 14 points in the third quarter, nine of those on 3-pointers. He also had a 3-point play to get things going.
The Patriots led 33-30 at halftime, then expanded that lead to 54-46 headed into the final quarter.
“He was in a fog to start the game, but he finally got rolling,” Craig Dailey said. “He’s been hurt and he’s just getting his basketball legs.”
Dakota Dailey quarterbacked the Patriots’ football team to the MAIS AA state championship game, where they lost to Brook-haven Academy.
The younger Dailey said the key to shooting – and making – 3-pointers is to hold your form and be prepared mentally.
“I was getting perfect looks,” he said. “I finally started to hit the open shots that I didn’t hit in the first half.”
Dailey got some help. Peyton Lewis scored 11 of his 14 points in the first quarter while Brad Bennett added 12. Randy Love came off the bench to score 15, eight in the first half.
Alcorn Central (8-3) got 22 points from guard John Wiley Works.
“We haven’t played to our full potential, but we’re getting there,” Dakota Dailey said. “Winning state is good, but the Overall is what we’re shooting for.”