Greenville wears TRM Tourney crown
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Like any team, the Greenville Tigers have their leaders. Unlike most teams, anybody in the Greenville lineup is capable of beating an opponent on a given night.
It was Greenville's depth that paved the way to a 77-59 win over the T.R. Miller Tigers in Saturday's championship game of the T.R. Miller Holiday Tournament.
"Greenville has an outstanding team. They have a lot of size, depth and athleticism. Greenville, which is a Class 5A school, has lost three games. Two of those three came against Hayneville Central and Calhoun, which are among the top teams in the state," T.R. Miller coach Rob Atkinson said.
Despite an 18-point margin of defeat and the fact it allowed a season high point total on defense, Saturday's effort may have been the best of the season by T.R. Miller (7-6).
"I'm not happy about losing, but I am happy with the effort our kids gave. They really played hard and got after it. They never gave up. We made some mistakes that we need to fix, but we will fix them," Atkinson said.
Despite the fact T.R. Miller had 11 turnovers and was outrebounded 15-5 in the first half, the host Tigers were able to stay close with selective shooting. T.R. Miller hit 11 of 17 shots in the first half for 65 percent.
Greenville (9-3) displayed its depth early on, as eight of its players cracked the scoring column in the first half.
Out of thsoe eight, Devoski McMeans and Keldron Jackson gave Greenville an early spark. McMeans had a pair of hoops plus a three-pointer, while Jackson netted a pair of field goals in the first quarter.
That production helped Greenville open up as much as a nine-point edge although a three-pointer at the buzzer by Greg Bogan brought T.R. Miller within 15-9.
Bogan, who had a game high and tournament high 29 points, got six of those in the first two minutes of the second quarter. On back-to-back plays, steals by Damien Jackson led to hoops for Bogan. The latter gave T.R. Miller a 17-15 lead.
That lead quickly disappeared when Greenville's Kendron Pate scored from inside the lane and Andrew Tomlin hit two free throws to put the visiting Tigers ahead for good.
The final 10 seconds of the first half produced a big momentum swing for Greenville. Bogan had just hit a three-pointer to bring T.R. Miller within 31-27. A defensive stop got the ball right back for the Tigers with a chance to claw even closer.
Instead T.R. Miller turned the ball over and Greenville's J.C. Anderson was fouled on a three-point shot with two seconds left in the half. Anderson hit the first two of his attempts, but missed the third. On the miss, Greenville's Curtis Fields grabbed the rebound and scored at the buzzer to put his team up 35-27.
That turn of events did not seem to dampen T.R. Miller's spirits, at least in the opening moments of the third quarter.
A baseline jumper by Bogan and a field goal from in close by Trey Paul cut Greenville's lead in half to 35-31.
Over the next five minutes, T.R. Miller hit just one more field goal. During that dry spell, Greenville went on a 19-4 run to open up a commanding 54-35 advantage.
The host Tigers had one run left in them. A three-point play by Jackson, a three-pointer and baseline jumper by Bogan and an offensive rebound basket by Paul enabled T.R. Miller to close out the third quarter on a 10-0 streak that sliced Greenville's lead to 54-45.
A free throw by Tye Walker 40 seconds into the fourth quarter brought T.R. Miller within 54-46, but that was as close as the host Tigers would get.
McMeans, who led Greenville with 18 points, had half (nine) of those in the fourth quarter to help the visiting Tigers pull away for good.
T.R. Miller, which travelled to Clarke County Tuesday, is back in action Friday when it hosts Flomaton. The Tigers will be at Jay (Fla.) Saturday.
At T.R. Miller
T.R. Miller 9 18 18 14 – 59
Greenville 15 20 19 23 – 77
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Bogan 6-5-2-29; Paul 7-0-0-14; D. Jackson 2-0-1-5; Walker 1-0-2-4; Bougard 1-0-1-3; Byrd 1-0-0-2; Lucas 0-0-2-2 (Totals: 18-5-8-59)
GREENVILLE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) McMeans 4-1-7-18; Anderson 5-0-3-13; Tomlin 3-0-4-10; Jackson 3-0-1-9; Hawkins 4-0-0-8; Pate 4-0-0-8; Mack 3-0-1-7; Turner 2-0-0-4 (Totals: 28-1-16-77)