Tigers crank it up against Neal, Straughn

Published 2:47 pm Monday, January 24, 2005

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
They may be neighbors, but the T.R. Miller Tigers and W.S. Neal Blue Eagles continued to speed along in opposite directions Friday after the Tigers posted a 93-32 demolition of their arch rivals in Brewton.
The win, which was T.R. Miller's 11th in its last 13 games, kept the Tigers hopes alive of getting a share of the Class 3A Area 1 regular season championship and the right to host next month's Area Tournament.
In order to do both of those items, T.R. Miller (13-4 overall and 4-1 in the Area) will have to win at Straughn this Friday and then win a coin toss with Clarke County to determine the Area host. Clarke County (5-1 in the Area) wrapped up no worse than a share of the Area crown Friday when it beat Straughn 69-59.
Friday's victory over W.S. Neal was T.R. Miller's fourth of the season over the Blue Eagles (2-17 overall and 0-5 in Area 1), who succumbed for the 10th straight game.
The Tigers accomplished the win with a variety of season and career bests.
T.R. Miller's 93 points topped its previous season best of 74 set just Tuesday against Straughn. The Tigers hit a season high 11 three-pointers. T.R. Miller also got a season high 33 points from its bench personnel. The Tigers' bench outscored W.S. Neal's total team output.
From an individual standpoint, T.R. Miller's Damien Jackson matched his career high of 26 points set earlier this season against Monroe County. Yet the biggest individual output probably came from senior George Arauz. Arauz, who had scored just 21 points all season, came off the bench and lit up the Blue Eagles for 20.
It actually took the Tigers nearly a quarter to get going. With less than a minute left in the first quarter T.R. Miller had just a 10-6 lead.
In the final 45 seconds of the quarter, Damien Jackson buried a three-pointer and hit two free throws and Arauz hit a free throw that got the lead into double digits at 16-6. It also triggered what would be a 15-0 surge. Perhaps fittingly, it was Damien Jackson whose offensive rebound bucket ended that blitz that took the lead up to 25-6.
T.R. Miller also ended the first half on a strong note, as Arauz drained back-to-back treys and Brandon Samuel hit two free throws with a second left that swelled the halftime gap to 40-12.
Things got even more out of hand in the third quarter when the Tigers reeled off 11 straight points in an 18-2 run that knocked the T.R. Miller advantage up to 64-19 after Arauz hit his third three-pointer of the game.
The Tigers began a 15-0 run late in the third quarter that ended with a Chris Byrd charity toss halfway through the fourth quarter that made it 79-21.
T.R. Miller also rolled to a decisive victory at the junior varsity level with a 48-18 triumph over W.S. Neal.
Brandon Andrews outscored W.S. Neal by himself with 20 points, as the Tigers improved to 9-2 at that level. W.S. Neal (5-8) was paced by Jimmy Wilson's nine points.
At T.R. Miller
W.S. Neal 6 6 9 11 – 32
T.R. Miller 16 24 27 26 – 93
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Alexander 3-0-4-10; Thomas 1-1-2-7; Roh. Travis 1-0-2-4; Hester 1-0-1-3; Dexter 1-0-0-2; Cooper 1-0-0-2; Green 1-0-0-2; Ron. Travis 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 10-1-9-32)
See TIGERS Page 8
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) D. Jackson 3-6-2-26; Arauz 2-4-4-20; Banton 6-0-2-14; Lucas 3-0-4-10; Samuel 3-0-2-8; W. Jackson 1-1-2-7; Brooks 0-0-4-4; Byrd 0-0-3-3; Daugherty 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 18-11-24-93)
Junior varsity
W.S. Neal 3 6 5 4 – 18
T.R. Miller 13 12 10 10 – 48
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Wilson 3-0-3-9; Lambert 0-0-2-2; Boyd 1-0-0-2; S. Sanders 1-0-0-2; Rutledge 1-0-0-2; Peacock 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 6-0-6-18)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Andrews 5-2-4-20; Jones 4-0-1-9; Payne 2-0-0-4; Hardy 1-0-0-2; Ter. Walker 1-0-0-2; Stallworth 1-0-0-2; Fountain 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 17-2-8-48)
Tuesday's game
T.R. Miller bounced back in a big way from its first Area loss last Friday at Clarke County with a convincing 74-50 win over the visiting Straughn Tigers Tuesday.
T.R. Miller accomplished its victory with a season high 74 points, six better than its previous top output of 68 posted at Monroe County.
The victorious Tigers also enjoyed their best night of the season at the free throw line where they hit 26 of 33 attempts, which included a 12-for-14 mark in the first half.
T.R. Miller began to take control of the game in the waning moments of the first quarter.
After Straughn's Tyrell Hunters cored with about 30 seconds left in the frame and cut the tigers' lead to 17-15, T.R. Miller started to build some momentum when Chris Byrd scored from inside the lane at the buzzer.
At the start of the second quarter, T.R. Miller got a bucket from Brandon Samuel followed by a steal, a layup and then a three-pointer by Damien Jackson. Just like that T.R. Miller's lead was in double digits at 26-16.
The Tigers would go on to lead by as many as 11 points on three occasions in the second quarter, which included the halftime margin of 36-25.
Straughn (5-10 overall and 1-2 in the Area) managed to stay within striking distance for most of the second half.
Sterling Driver converted a steal into a layup that cut the gap into single digits at 45-36 late in the third quarter. Then with six minutes left Hunter buried a three-pointer that trimmed T.R. Miller's cushion to 54-46.
The host Tigers then began to slam the door shut when buckets by Gerald Banton, Wade Jackson and Laine Lucas with a free throw by Wade Jackson thrown in between. The 7-0 blitz bumped the lead up to 61-46 and T.R. Miller surrendered just four more points the rest of the way.
T.R. Miller's junior varsity also bounced back from a loss at Clarke County with a 34-30 win over Straughn.
Brandon Samuel racked up 20 points to pace the Tigers (8-2).
At T.R. Miller
Straughn 15 10 13 12 – 50
T.R. Miller 19 17 12 26 – 74
STRAUGHN (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Driver 7-0-4-18; Hunter 4-2-0-14; Huggin 3-0-2-8; Jones 2-0-0-4; Armstrong 0-1-0-3; Sexton 1-0-0-2; Carter 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 17-3-7-50)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) D. Jackson 3-2-5-17; Byrd 4-0-5-13; Lucas 4-0-5-13; W. Jackson 3-0-5-11; Arauz 1-0-4-6; Samuel 2-0-1-5; Banton 2-0-0-4; Brooks 1-0-1-3; Daugherty 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 21-2-26-74)
At T.R. Miller
Straughn 0 4 8 8 – 30
T.R. Miller 11 3 14 6 – 34
STRAUGHN (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Driver 5-0-0-10; Dozier 4-0-0-8; Freeney 2-0-0-4; Pettus 2-0-0-4; Kineval 1-0-0-2; Parker 1-0-0-2; Gunter 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 15-0-0-30)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Andrews 5-3-1-20; Stallworth 2-0-1-5; Jer. Knight 2-0-1-5; Ter. Walker 2-0-0-4 (Totals: 11-3-3-34)

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