Late rally lifts Greenville past Tigers
By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
Saturday's game at Greenville will officially go down as a 60-49 loss for the T.R. Miller Tigers.
Yet some of the things T.R. Miller was able to accomplish in that game may lead to better things down the road.
The Tigers (14-7) may have very well been able to snatch the victory with a better performance at the free throw line where they were just nine-for-20.
T.R. Miller took a 40-37 lead with just under seven minutes to go when a steal by Tye Walker, who returned to action over the weekend after a five-game absence due to injury, led to a bucket by Damien Jackson.
Over the next minute Greenville took the lead for good with a bucket inside by Joshua Hawkins, a baseline jumper by Devoski McMeans and a three-pointer by Gavinston Warren put the host Tigers up 44-40.
Despite losing by double digits, T.R. Miller stayed within striking range until the final minute.
Two free throws by Laine Lucas with 1:29 left brought T.R. Miller within 52-49. Although the Tigers surrendered a free throw to Lynn Lewis with 1:17 left that made it a two-possession lead of 53-49, it was Greenville's three-point possession with a minute left that sealed the outcome.
McMeans hit the front end of the super bonus, but missed the second attempt. However, Warren grabbed the offensive rebound, scored and stretched the lead to 56-49.
T.R. Miller wasted a career best night of 22 points by senior Gerald Banton. Banton had 12 of those points in the first half when T.R. Miller overcame a five-point deficit on five occasions.
Banton's last bucket of the first half was followed by two free throws by Damien Jackson and a field goal by Wade Jackson that gave T.R. Miller a 24-23 lead.
Although the Tigers led most of the third quarter, they were unable to open up any breathing room.
Banton gave T.R. Miller a 26-23 with a bucket to start the third quarter and another three-point edge of 30-27 with another field goal moments later. Lucas' hoop five minutes into the quarter matched that advantage at 34-31.
Greenville finished the period on a strong note with a bucket by Isiah Mack, a steal and layup by Rashad Knight and another steal and layup by Mack. That sequence gave the host Tigers a 37-34 lead headed into the final period.
Like their varsity counterparts, T.R. Miller's junior varsity struggled at the free throw line in a 36-28 loss to Greenville.
Briddell Jones led T.R. Miller (11-3), which missed 21 of 32 free throw attempts, with 13 points.
T.R. Miller 14 10 11 14 – 49
Straughn 17 6 14 23 – 60
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Banton 11-0-0-22; D. Jackson 2-1-4-11; Lucas 2-0-3-7; W. Jackson 1-1-0-5; Byrd 1-0-2-4 (Totals: 17-2-9-49)
GREENVILLE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) I. Mack 9-0-2-20; Warren 4-1-3-14; McMeans 3-1-1-10; Fields 3-0-0-6; Hawkins 2-0-1-5; Lewis 1-0-1-3; Knight 0-0-2-2 (Totals: 22-2-10-60)
T.R. Miller 3 8 4 13 – 28
Greenville 6 14 5 11 – 36
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Jones 4-0-5-13; Stallworth 2-0-2-6; Jer. Knight 1-0-2-4; Cunningham 0-1-0-3; Ter. Walker 0-0-2-2 (Totals: 7-1-11-28)
GREENVILLE (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Hugly 5-0-0-10; Pate 1-1-2-7; Robinson 0-1-1-4; Smith 0-1-1-4; Peavler 0-1-0-3; Daniels 1-0-1-3; Carter 1-0-0-2; Simpson 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 9-3-5-36)