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Life still goes on for shorthanded TRM basketball

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Whoever said "the show must go on" probably did not have the T.R. Miller Tigers basketball team in mind, but it would have been a good reference.
The Tigers are now six days away from next Tuesday's season opener at Escambia County. The problem for T.R. Miller coach Rob Atkinson is he has yet to see most of his varsity players including four projected starters (Gerald Banton, Laine Lucas, Damien Jackson and Tye Walker) due to their participation in T.R. Miller's football playoff run.
"We're missing approximately seven to eight varsity players and about 10 total players. Right now we only have three true varsity players and 16 total at practice," Atkinson said.
While next Tuesday's game will be played whether T.R. Miller's football team is still going or has been eliminated, Atkinson and the Tigers could have some interesting scheduling conflicts down the road.
The first would be December 3. T.R. Miller is scheduled to host Andalusia that day on the hardwood. However, if the Tigers football team is still alive, it would play host to a state semifinal game a few yards away.
Guess which game Brewton's attention would be focused on that night?
"If that's the case, we'll reschedule the basketball game, probably for the next day (December 4)," Atkinson said.
T.R. Miller would also run into a football/basketball conflict December 9. The Tigers football team could be playing for the Class 3A state title in Birmingham that day.
Meanwhile both the Tigers and Lady Tigers are scheduled to begin play at the Escambia County Tournament in Atmore.
"If our football team is playing for the state title, I'm going to be in Birmingham. I haven't talked to Escambia County about the situation yet and we'll cross the bridge if it happens. If they don't want to reschedule that day's games, we would just take a forfeit loss," Atkinson said.
As Brewton Middle School head football coach, Atkinson has a personal interest in how the T.R. Miller Tigers football team performs.
"This year's seniors were eighth graders on my first team at BMS and I want to be there for them," Atkinson
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said.
Once football season does end, Atkinson said it will still take time for those players to make the transition to basketball.
"Three weeks is probably a fair timeline for those players. We could be looking at early January. At least they should be ready by the time we get to our Area games," Atkinson said.
While the overall situation makes it tough on the Tigers basketball program, Atkinson said there is one positive.
"The players we do have in practice are getting a lot more work than they normally would. Hopefully they can make that pay off for them down the road," Atkinson said.
Football has already made one impact on the T.R. Miller girls basketball schedule.
T.R. Miller's second-round game at the Emerald Coast Classic, which is being hosted by Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach (Fla.), has been rescheduled for this Friday at 10:30 a.m. win or lose. It had originally been slated for 2 p.m. (first-round loss) or 3:30 p.m. (first-round win).
"Choctawhatchee was able to accomodate us with our football situation. Even though it's about a 600-mile round trip from Fort Walton Beach to Birmingham, we still had some players who want to go to the game (at Midfield) Friday night," Lady Tigers coach Ron Jackson said.
The Jefferson Davis Community College Warhawks basketball team has received its pairings for next month's the Border Bash Tournament, which will be held at Americus (Ga.).
JDCC will take on South Georgia Tech in the opening round of the tournament on December 10 at 7 p.m. The Warhawks will then take on Coastal Georgia in the second round of play on December 11 at 1 p.m.