Lady Tigers smother Escambia County field
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
The T.R. Miller Lady Tigers will not argue the old saying "defense wins championships." Neither will the three teams T.R. Miller shut down to win the Escambia County Tournament.
The Lady Tigers left little question about their tournament dominance Saturday when they smothered the Flomaton Lady Hurricanes 55-24 to finish the event unbeaten at 3-0.
In three games at the tournament, T.R. Miller allowed just 66 points, an average of just 22 per game.
"We played good defense the entire tournament. The players really got after the ball. Our defense helps us to score on offense," T.R. Miller coach Ron Jackson said.
Lady Tigers senior Ashley Samuel, who landed the tournament's most valuable player award, was a scoring machine with 113 points over the three games. That included a game high 24 against Flomaton. However, Jackson said Samuel's defense was just as good as her offense.
"Ashley does a good job of anticipating passes. She gets herself on the right place on the floor," Jackson said. "Our defense creates ways for her to score and Ashley finds ways to score on her own."
T.R. Miller (6-1) and Flomaton (6-2) were hooked up in a 6-6 deadlock three minutes into Saturday's contest when the Lady Tigers' defense took over.
Over the next 12 minutes Flomaton hit just one of seven shots, scored two points and turned the ball over nine times.
Meanwhile on the offensive side a pair of buckets by Lady Tigers' center Joy McCorvey helped T.R. Miller go on an 18-1 run to end the period with a 24-7 lead.
However, it was Samuel who fueled most of that run with a pair of three-point plays and three other field goals. In fact, Samuel finished the quarter with 14 points.
A pair of field goals by McCorvey at the start of the second quarter knocked T.R. Miller's lead past 20 points at 28-7. The bulge reached 30 points late in the first half when a steal by Jasmine Sanford led to a layup by Samuel to make it 39-9.
Samuel finished the first half with 22 points and appeared to have a chance at her third straight 40-point game in the tournament.
Her production leveled off in the second half and so did the Lady Tigers, as Jackson gave his bench several minutes of action.
T.R. Miller took its biggest lead of the game 40 seconds into the fourth quarter when an offensive rebound bucket by McCorvey made it 55-20. Ironically those would be the last points the Lady Tigers scored.
McCorvey, Keonshaye Lane and Sanford joined Samuel on the all-tournament team.
McCorvey averaged an even 18 points a game (54 points) during the tournament, while both Sanford and Lane contributed 12 over the three games.
T.R. Miller's next game is Friday when it hosts Monroe County. The Lady Tigers also have a home date Saturday against Northview (Fla.).
At W.S. Neal
T.R. Miller 24 17 12 2 – 55
Flomaton 7 4 9 4 – 24
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Samuel 10-0-4-24; McCorvey 9-0-1-19; Sanford 4-0-0-8; Lane 1-0-0-2; Fountain 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 25-0-5-55)
FLOMATON (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Odom 4-0-1-9; Mitchell 3-0-0-6; Cayson 1-1-0-5; Williams 1-0-0-2; Lisenby 0-0-1-1; Cassile 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 9-1-3-24)