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No holiday hangover for Lady Tigers in PC opener

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Since opposing teams have not been able to find a way to slow down the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers, how about a holiday layoff.
Uh, no.
T.R. Miller showed no rust from a six-day layoff when it began defense of its Pensacola Catholic Tournament championship Monday with a 56-21 thrashing of the Milton (Fla.) Lady Panthers.
"I was concerned with how we would respond to the holiday break. I think that is always a concern at this level. Fortunately we've got a great group of dedicated players. They make a lot of sacrifices to play and practice," T.R. Miller coach Ron Jackson said.
The Lady Tigers (11-0) left little room for a first-round upset when they began the game with a 15-0 run and held Milton without a field goal for the game's first nine minutes.
Joy McCorvey had a modest two field goals in that initial surge, but added four blocked shots, a steal and a couple of assists. Two of those assists went to Jasmine Sanford, who had six points off three field goals in that first quarter run. A field goal by Keya Peterson off a McCorvey steal late in the first quarter capped off T.R. Miller's first quarter blitz.
Milton, which had nine first quarter turnovers, did not score until 11 seconds into the second quarter when Contraya Nettles connected on a free throw. Milton's field goal drought ended a few seconds later when Diedra Schaubart scored from the corner.
All Schaubart's shot did was reduce the T.R. Miller lead to 17-3. The Lady Tigers promptly responded with 11 more unanswered points that swelled the cushion to 28-3. Sanford, who scored 13 of her 15 points in the first half, came up with a three-point play, a shot from the wing and another bucket from down low to spark that string.
T.R. Miller, which led 32-6 at halftime, got a big third quarter from Keonshaye Lane. The Lady Tigers' lone senior scored 11 of her team high 16 points in that frame, which included three hoops on fastbreaks and two more field goals from the perimeter.
"Keonshaye has been starting to shoot the ball a lot better from outside. So has Krystle Smith. That's good to see because that gives us another threat," Jackson said.
T.R. Miller had a 42-8 lead midway through the third quarter before Milton finally hit double digits.
A running clock went into effect late in the third quarter, which was largely responsible in holding the Lady Tigers to just four points in the final frame.
"We probably played our starters a little more than we normally would in this situation. I wanted them to get back into the swing of playing again after being off for nearly a week. We've got three games in three days and we'll have to be ready," Jackson said.
T.R. Miller took on either Pensacola (Fla.) or John Paul II out of Tallahassee (Fla.) in Tuesday's semifinals. The
Lady Tigers will close out the tournament today with either the third place game at 5:30 p.m. or the championship game at 7 p.m.
At Pensacola Catholic
Milton 0 6 7 7 – 21
T.R. Miller 15 17 20 4 – 56
MILTON (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Riley 3-0-0-6; Freeman 2-0-0-4; Green 1-0-1-3; Schaubart 1-0-0-2; Brewton 1-0-0-2; Rushing 0-0-2-2; Nettles 0-0-1-1; Grimes 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 8-0-5-21)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Lane 6-1-1-16; Sanford 7-0-1-15; McCorvey 6-0-0-12; Smith 3-0-0-6; Peterson 2-0-1-5; Grice 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 25-0-6-56)