Third time not a charm for TRM boys in title game
When it comes to the T.R. Miller Holiday Tournament, Tigers coach Rob Atkinson probably feels like "always the bridesmaid, but never the bride."
In the three-year history of the tournament, T.R. Miller has reached the championship game all three times. Each time it has lost in the finals.
In the inaugural event two years ago, the Tigers lost to Escambia County 59-42 in the championship game. Last year they succumbed to Greenville 77-59. Then came Wednesday's 66-52 loss to Mary Montgomery.
"It's a little frustrating to keep losing in the championship game, but each year is a different team in a different situation. This year I thought we were probably the second best team in the tournament (to Mary Montgomery) although Greenville with all its size would have also been a tough matchup for us," T.R. Miller coach Rob Atkinson said.
Good tune-up: The Tigers will open the Class 3A Area 1 season at home Tuesday against Clarke County.
"We probably couldn't have gotten a better tune-up for the Area season than we got by playing Mary Montgomery. Like Mary Montgomery, Clarke County also likes to get up and down the floor although they don't have as much size as Mary Montgomery," Atkinson said.
Flomaton's C.J. Williams wound up as the TRM Tournament scoring champ with 59 points over three games. Williams also hit a tournament high nine three-pointers, a figure that was matched by Greenville's Rashad Knight.
Monroe County's Anthony Stovull was second in scoring with 50 points, Mary Montgomery's Marcus Coleman was third with 49, T.R. Miller's Damien Jackson was fourth with 48 and Mary Montgomery's Mikhail Torrance rounded out the top five with 46.
Greenville broke its own tournament record for points in a game in this year's event opener when it racked up 86 against Monroe County. The Tigers had set the previous game high mark of 82 last year against Flomaton.
Greenville went in between those two marks with 83 in Wednesday's third place win over West Florida.
One item most teams like about tournaments is it usually gives them a chance to see some different competition.
That did not turn out to be the case for W.S. Neal.
The Blue Eagles drew a first-round matchup with T.R. Miller, a team it has already played once at the Escambia County Tournament and will play twice more in the regular season and possibly for a fifth time at the Area Tournament.
W.S. Neal then played Flomaton in the consolation semifinals. Those teams had earlier hooked up at the Escambia County Tournament.
Then in Wednesday's seventh place game, the Blue Eagles faced Andalusia. Those teams have two regular season matchups yet to come.
When the TRM Tournament began two years ago, W.S. Neal won its first-round matchup against Central (Fla.) 56-55 in overtime. The Blue Eagles have not won in the tournament since.
Wednesday's loss to Andalusia was W.S. Neal's eighth straight in the event since that win over Central.
Nobody out, nobody in: At this time, none of this year's TRM Tournament participants are locked into the 2005 event. Then again, none of this year's participants have indicated they are pulling out.
"We do it on a year-by-year basis. We'll probably starting hitting the teams up for next year's tournament about February," Atkinson said.
Two thumbs up on the great hospitality room at the TRM Tournament.
My journeys in this business have taken me to countless tournaments (most of those in basketball crazy Illinois).
The TRM hospitality room at this year's tournament has to rank if not the best, at least among the best, that I've seen.