Big runs spark Lady Tigers past Jay
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
The start of the postseason is still better than two weeks away. Yet if Saturday's performance by the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers is any indication, they are ready for that phase of their schedule now.
When T.R. Miller and the Jay Lady Royals hooked up two weeks earlier, Jay gave the Lady Tigers all they wanted for three quarters before T.R. Miller pulled away down the stretch for a 49-31 win.
It did not take long to decide the outcome of Saturday's rematch. T.R. Miller had runs of 21-0 in the first half and 24-0 in the second half, as it steamrolled its way to a 76-27 victory.
"I never expected to beat Jay by this kind of margin. They've got a good team and they are very fundamentally sound. I expected a similar type game to the first one we played with them and it looked as if it would be that way for about the first six minutes. Then we got on that big run," T.R. Miller coach Ron Jackson said.
The Lady Tigers (19-2) had just a 10-7 lead after Jay's Jessica Ivey hit a three-pointer six minutes into the game and only a 14-9 edge after Ivey scored with a minute left in the period.
T.R. Miller was able to close out the quarter with an offensive rebound bucket by Ashley Samuel and a hoop by Keonshaye Lane for an 18-9 lead. Little did anybody know then the Lady Tigers would score 17 more points in a row to start the second quarter.
All five T.R. Miller starters contributed to the run that knocked the lead up to 35-9. Lane had a steal that led to a three-point play by Joy McCorvey. McCorvey had a steal of her own for a layup. Samuel had two buckets off offensive rebounds and Jasmine Sanford scored field goals off assists from Samuel and McCorvey.
While Jay (7-11) managed to snap that streak, the Lady Tigers began another one when Samuel's three-pointer at the half-time buzzer gave T.R. Miller a 41-16 lead.
Samuel's trey triggered a 12-0 blitz by the Lady Tigers that bumped their cushion up to 50-16. The key play of that run was a four-point possession. Sanford scored off a steal by McCorvey and was fouled on the play. While Sanford missed the free throw, McCorvey got the rebound and scored again.
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McCorvey, who had seven steals in the game, had two of those in the waning moments of the third quarter. The last of those gave the Lady Tigers a 54-21 lead. It also started T.R. Miller's biggest streak of the game, a 24-0 run.
That run did not end until there was just one minute left in the game when Samantha Brown's trey gave T.R. Miller its biggest lead of the game at 76-21.
"We really played good defense. A big key to our success was rebounding (where T.R. Miller had a 37-18 advantage). We got a lot of second and third shots and we didn't give them many second opportunities," Jackson said.
Samuel poured in 25 points to lead the Lady Tigers and moved to within 26 of 2,000 for her career. Sanford had her second biggest game scoring of the season with 19.
The Lady Tigers, who travelled to Escambia County Tuesday, host Greenville Friday and Red Level Saturday.
At T.R. Miller
Jay 9 7 5 6 – 27
T.R. Miller 18 23 13 22 – 76
JAY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Ivey 3-1-0-9; Daughty 2-0-1-5; Lewis 1-1-0-5; Stafford 0-1-0-3; Lowry 1-0-1-3; Morrison 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 8-3-2-27)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Samuel 10-1-2-25; Sanford 9-0-1-19; McCorvey 6-0-1-13; Smith 3-0-0-6; Nettles 2-0-0-4; Lane 1-0-2-4; Brown 0-1-0-3; Clifton 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 32-2-6-76)