Tigers (Jay)walk past Royals
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Few will argue the T.R. Miller Tigers are entering the toughest part of their schedule.
At the same time few will argue T.R. Miller started that stretch with its best performance of the season, a 50-41 triumph over the visiting Jay Royals Saturday. That win extended the Tigers' season high winning streak to five games.
"This was a good win, a quality win. We really needed a game like this because we've got some real tough games coming up with Escambia County, Flomaton and Monroe County on the road and Greenville and Red Level at home," T.R. Miller coach Rob Atkinson said.
After being saddled in a bit of a mini slump the last couple of games, senior Greg Bogan busted loose against the Royals with six three-pointers and a game high 20 points.
"Greg was six-for-nine behind the arc so he was really on fire," Atkinson said.
Sophomore Damien Jackson had half of Bogan's total, but all 10 of those points came in the first half to spark the Tigers to a double digit first half lead.
"Damien had a couple more three-pointers. He is playing with a lot of confidence in his game right now," Atkinson said.
It was a three-pointer by Jackson halfway through the first quarter that snapped a 5-5 tie and put T.R. Miller (12-9) ahead to stay.
The Tigers were able to widen that lead through a bucket by Bogan and two field goals by Laine Lucas. However, the key blow was a trey by Bogan at the quarter buzzer that made it 17-10.
Jackson gave the Tigers a big boost in the second quarter with a three-pointer from the corner, a drive to the basket for another score and a steal for a layup. The last of those plays gave the Tigers their biggest lead of the half at 29-15.
The Royals (14-5) probably came up with the most exciting play of the game when Jake Nelson turned a steal into a dunk two minutes into the third quarter. However, that play only trimmed T.R. Miller's lead to 31-21. The Tigers kept their lead in double figures until there were only 30 seconds left.
T.R. Miller responded to that threat with a pair of three-pointers by Bogan, a bucket by Trey Paul and a hoop by Gerald Banton. Banton's basket gave T.R. Miller its biggest lead of the game up to that point at 41-23.
The Tigers still had an 18-point margin of lead at 45-27 at the close of the third quarter. They extended it to a game high margin of 48-29 after Bogan's sixth three-pointer of the game early in the fourth quarter.
As a whole the Tigers had some struggles in the final frame, as they hit just two of 10 shots. Jay ended the game on a 12-2 run, but that run did not begin until there were only three minutes left.
"We lost our legs a little bit in the fourth quarter, but overall we played real well. Our defense was good and we did a nice job of running our offense," Atkinson said.
T.R. Miller, which played at Escambia County Tuesday, has home dates against
Greenville Friday and Red Level Saturday.
At T.R. Miller
Jay 10 7 10 14 – 41
T.R. Miller 17 12 16 5 – 50
JAY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Kemp 2-2-1-11; Jak. Nelson 5-0-0-10; Jam. Nelson 0-2-0-6; Shaw 0-0-4-4; Pearson 2-0-0-4; Weaver 1-0-2-4; Burch 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 11-4-7-41)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Bogan 1-6-0-20; D. Jackson 2-2-0-10; Paul 5-0-0-10; Byrd 2-0-0-4; Lucas 2-0-0-4; Banton 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 13-8-0-50)