Marlin Classic girls: Pensacola first Florida school to win crown

Heather Leiphart photo
Published: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 21:53 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH – Marshall County met its match against Pensacola.

The Tigers overcame an early deficit and surged to a 57-46 victory over the Marshals in the Marlin Christmas Classic girls prep basketball championship on Monday. Pensacola finished unbeaten in its three games in the tournament, while Marshall County lost for the first time. It also was the Marshals’ first loss of this season and their initial defeat in six Marlin Classic games.

Racine Frank scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in helping Pensacola become the first school from Florida to win a Marlin Classic girls title in the four-year history of the event. Marshall County finished second and won the inaugural championship in 2010 in its previous appearance in Panama City Beach.

Monday’s other two matchups were switched on the girls side as well as the boys to avoid a second meeting between Memorial of Texas and Pleasant Grove of Alabama, both of which were pitted to open the tournament. Memorial was matched against Mosley and defeated the Dolphins 36-33. Pleasant Grove surpassed Arnold 60-38.

Pleasant Grove was awarded the third-place trophy despite it and Memorial finishing with 2-1 tournament marks. Memorial beat Pleasant Grove 55-47 on Friday, but the Spartans had a better final point differential, which was the first tiebreaker under pool play.

Pensacola 57, Marshall County 46

Marshall County led by as much as 7-2 in the first quarter and tied the game in the second, but that was as close as it would come against a quick and tenacious Pensacola effort on both ends of the court. The Tigers (14-2) had an answer for every push by the Marshals in controlling the tempo in the second half.

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