Lady Tigers move to 15-3 with victory over W.S. Neal
By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
A Jan. 21 Area-1 matchup between the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers and W.S. Neal Lady Eagles at Miller Gym proved to be a showcase of the Lady Tigers' talent and ability to dominate a game from start to finish.
Miller built a 15-1 lead midway through the opening period and systematically used pressure defense to force 35 Lady Eagles' turnovers in a 73-22 win that upped the Lady Tigers' season record to 15-3 and area mark to 4-0.
Neal (2-13, 0-4) began the game struggling on the offensive end against the vaunted Miller defense. Ten Lady Eagles' turnovers in the opening quarter allowed the Lady Tigers to take control of the game early.
An Akia Suarez jump shot got the Lady Tigers' offense going and then consecutive Ashley Samuel steals resulted in four more points and a 6-0 Miller lead. Following a Joy McCorvey bank shot that lifted the Tigers' lead to 8-0, Neal got on the scoreboard with Timiya Nolan's free throw that made the score 8-1 with 5:30 to go in the quarter. The Lady Tigers then proceeded on a 20-4 run that gave them an overwhelming 28-5 advantage heading to the second period of play.
With their intense defensive play creating three straight steals to begin the second quarter, the Lady Tigers quickly padded the cushion to 34-5 with 6:20 left in the half. As the minutes ticked down before the break, transition baskets by Samuel, Suarez, Brittnee Malloyd and Candace Smith stretched Miller's halftime lead to 36 points, 48-12.
The contest continued in much the same manner in the third stanza. While the Lady Tigers' defense continued to cause serious problems for the Lady Eagles. Suarez and Jasmine Sanford had big quarters on the offensive end. Outscoring the Lady Eagles 18-2 in the period, Miller entered the final quarter holding a 52-point lead, 66-14.
With the outcome already decided, both teams emptied the benches to enable some of the younger players to gain experience. As a result of Neal winning the final quarter, 8-7, the Lady Tigers' winning margin was 51 points at game's end.
Samuel led the Lady Tigers with 22 points. Others scoring in double figures were Suarez, 14 points; Jasmine Sanford, 12 points and McCorvey, 11 points.
Timiya Nolan and Lilly Fantroy led the Lady Eagles with eight and six points, respectively.