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Lady Tigers send message in Area opener, top Flomaton

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Do not get the wrong idea. Winning the Class 3A Area 1 regular season championship and earning the right to host the Area Tournament is important to T.R. Miller Lady Tigers coach Ron Jackson.
The Lady Tigers opened the Class 3A Area 1 season off on the right foot Tuesday when they ripped the visiting Clarke County Lady Bulldogs 52-34.
This season the Lady Tigers may actually be more comfortable playing on the road.
"We're not used to playing much at home this season. This was our 15th game and we've only played three at home," Jackson said. "Winning the Area is important to us so we can play at home and this was a big step in the right direction."
As decisive as Tuesday's final score was, it was not even that close. T.R. Miller led by as many as 32 points over a Lady Bulldogs squad (9-2 overall, 1-1 in Area 1) that had climbed to fifth in the latest state rankings.
The Lady Tigers were able to build as much as an 18-point first half lead through their defense. T.R. Miller forced Clarke County into 13 first half turnovers, nine of which were a result of steals.
Jasmine Sanford had three of those picks in the first quarter, which led to one hoop for herself and one each for Joy McCorvey and Keonshaye Lane. McCorvey was also a defensive menace with three steals in the first quarter and finished with eight for the game.
"Joy really did a good job of deflecting their passes. She has those long arms and she does a good job of reading the other team's passes," Jackson said.
Up 10-5 midway through the first quarter, the Lady Tigers began a 13-0 run that ended with a steal and layup by McCorvey 30 seconds into the second quarter. That field goal ran T.R. Miller's lead to a first half high of 23-5.
Krystle Smith was also a key contributor to T.R. Miller's 28-13 halftime lead. Smith scored all 10 of her points in the first half .
"Krystle played extremely well. That may have been her best half of the season. She has worked extremely hard in practice," Jackson said.
What little doubt that remained about the outcome was erased when the Lady Tigers began the second half with their second 13-0 blitz of the game.
Sanford led that run with a steal for a layup, a fastbreak layup off a steal by McCorvey and an offensive rebound bucket. The last of those buckets took the lead up to 41-13.
T.R. Miller took a game high bulge of 51-19 two minutes into the fourth quarter when Jackson pulled his starting unit. The Lady Tigers reserves were outscored 15-1 the rest of the way.
"It seems like a broken record, but our bench play concerns me. We have got to do better than that," Jackson said.
At T.R. Miller
Clarke County 5 8 6 15 – 34
T.R. Miller 18 10 17 7 – 52
CLARKE COUNTY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) T. Johnson 4-0-2-10; Moore 1-1-2-7; Harris 3-0-0-6; Curtis 0-2-0-6; Snell 0-1-0-3; Thomas 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 9-4-4-34)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) McCorvey 8-0-1-17; Sanford 6-0-0-12; Smith 3-1-1-10; Peterson 1-1-0-5; Lane 1-1-0-5; Brown 1-0-0-2; Watson 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 20-3-3-52)
TRM downs Hurricanes
Double-doubles are becoming commonplace for Joy McCorvey. Big games are becoming more and more frequent for Jasmine Sanford as well.
McCorvey hauled down 19 rebounds and scored 16 points, while Sanford fired in a game high 20 points to pace the Lady Tigers to a 46-30 win over the host Flomaton Lady Hurricanes Friday.
Flomaton (11-7) could look at two key items in its defeat. The Lady Hurricanes shot just 24 percent from the field (12-for-51) and 28 percent from the free throw line (five-for-18). Three of those 13 missed free throws were the front end of one-and-ones, which when put together added up to the final 16-pointmargin.
See LADY TIGERS Page 7
While Flomaton could have perhaps changed the complexion of the game with a better
performance at the free throw line, the bottom line is the Lady Tigers (15-1) were never seriously challenged.
T.R. Miller built a 16-6 lead through one quarter and extended it to 28-10 by halftime thanks largely to 12 points by Sanford.
Back-to-back hoops by Sanford and an offensive rebound bucket by McCorvey at the start of the third quarter swelled the Lady Tigers' advantage to a game high bulge of 34-10. Sparked by three field goals late in the third quarter by Lillian Williams, Flomaton was able to close the gap down to 38-24 after a free throw by Cassie Lassiter in the opening moments of the fourth quarter. That would be as close as the Lady Hurricanes would get.
The Lady Tigers travel to W.S. Neal Tuesday for an Area 1 game.
At Flomaton
T.R. Miller 16 12 10 8 – 46
Flomaton 6 4 13 7 – 30
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Sanford 10-0-0-20; McCorvey 8-0-0-16; Lane 1-0-2-4; Smith 2-0-0-4; Peterson 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 22-0-2-46)
FLOMATON (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Cayson 3-1-0-9; Williams 4-0-1-9; Lisenby 2-0-1-5; Lassiter 1-0-1-3; Harden 0-0-2-2; Henderson 2-0-1-5 (Totals: 11-1-5-30)