Lady Tigers finally wear down Jay
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
The Jay Lady Royals did not do much to beat themselves and they took away many of the things the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers like to do.
One thing Jay did not deny the Lady Tigers was a win, as T.R. Miller battled hard for a 49-31 victory Saturday in a game that was much closer than the final score.
"Jay played a good game. They were pretty fundamentally sound," T.R. Miller coach Ron Jackson said. "Jay did a good job of running its offense and they hit some open shots. They took pretty decent care of the ball. They made us rely a lot more on our half-court offense than we usually do and they showed us our half-court offense needs some work."
The Lady Royals did not play like a team that dropped to 5-7 on the season. Jay's deficit was still in single digits until T.R. Miller (14-2) broke the game open with a fourth quarter run.
It did not appear that would be the case early in the game. It took Jay nearly five minutes to score and during that time the Lady Tigers opened up a 6-0 lead thanks to a pair of buckets by Ashley Samuel and a steal and layup by Joy McCorvey.
When the Lady Royals finally got on the scoreboard, they did so in a big way when Jessie Ivey converted a rare four-point play. By the time the quarter was over Jay had pulled even at 8-8 after buckets by Jessica Stafford and Tabatha Lowry.
T.R. Miller was not only able to regain the lead at the start of the second quarter, it doubled Jay's output to 16-8 thanks to two more buckets by Samuel, an offensive rebound basket by McCorvey and a hoop by Jasmine Sanford.
Later in the period T.R. Miller extended its cushion to a first half high margin of 21-9 after McCorvey scored off an assist from Samuel and Keonshaye Lane hit a baseline jumper.
Meanwhile the Lady Tigers put the clamps on the Jay offense. The Lady Royals were held to just two free throws and no field goals until Ivey connected from inside in the final minute of the first half. That bucket trimmed T.R. Miller's lead to 21-12 at half-time.
Baskets by McCorvey and Stanford in the first minute of the third quarter enabled the Lady Tigers to take their biggest lead up to that point at 25-12.
Jay refused to go down easily. The Lady Royals whittled away at that lead and cut it to just 29-22 after a bucket by Stafford with two minutes left in the period.
T.R. Miller was able to get that advantage back into double figures before the quarter ended when a steal by McCorvey led to a layup by Lane and two free throws by Samuel made it 33-22.
Two free throws by Stafford with 6:49 left made it 33-24, but that proved to be the last gasp for the Lady Royals.
Over the next three minutes T.R. Miller used a field goal and two free throws by Krystle Smith, a three-point play by Samuel and a charity toss by McCorvey to quickly knock the lead up to 41-24.
If that surge did not seal the Lady Tigers' victory, a four-point possession with just under a minute left did. A free throw by Samuel followed by an offensive rebound and another three-pointer by Samuel gave the Lady Tigers their biggest lead of the game at 49-30.
Samuel led T.R. Miller with 23 points, while McCorvey had 13.
The Lady Tigers, who hosted W.S. Neal Tuesday, are also home Friday when they entertain Class 3A Area 1 rival Clarke County.
T.R. Miller 8 13 12 16 – 49
Jay 8 4 10 9 – 31
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Samuel 8-1-4-23; McCorvey 6-0-1-13; Sanfod 2-0-0-4; Lane 2-0-0-4; Smith 1-0-2-4; Fountain 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 19-1-8-49)
JAY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Ivey 1-1-7-12; Stafford 3-0-5-11; Lowry 3-0-0-6; Lewis 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 8-1-12-31)