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Basketball Tigers look to climb next rung up the ladder

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editorr
Each of the previous six seasons of Rob Atkinson's regime as the T.R. Miller Tigers basketball coach has been like a climb up a ladder. Each year things continue to get better.
The biggest step the Tigers took last season was their first regional appearance in nine years. That step also included a 19-9 record, a Class 3A Area Tournament championship and a berth in the T.R. Miller Holiday Tournament championship game.
If the Tigers program is to continue that progression this season, it will have to do so with a vastly revamped lineup. Five players graduated from that squad, which included starters Gerald Banton, Damien Jackson and Tye Walker.
While the loss of those players is something T.R. Miller must overcome, there are some building blocks. Junior point guard Wade Jackson and senior forward Laine Lucas return to the lineup. Most of the other spots will be filled from members of last year's junior varsity team that went 15-3.
competition in practice,” Atkinson said.
A year ago Jackson stepped into the point guard spot as a sophomore and never relinquished it. In addition to experience, Atkinson said there is one other big change for the junior.
Terrelle Brooks, a 5-11 junior, might be one option to back up Jackson at point, but Brooks will probably settle into the shooting guard role along with Brandon Andrews, a 5-10 sophomore.
Lucas, a 6-0 senior, will anchor the inside game once the Tigers football season ends.
Terrence Walker, a 6-0 junior, might also be the answer to the backup point guard role when he returns from football. Nate Powell, a 5-10 junior, could also get a look.
Kelly Stallworth, a 6-1 junior, saw occasional varsity time last year in a backup role. He and Corey Cunningham, a 6-1 sophomore, are battling for more extended playing time this year at a forward spot.
Jeremy Knight, a 6-0 junior, Jeremy Curry, a 6-6 junior, and Jordan Knight, a 6-3 sophomore, are also in the picture for playing time down low.
The T.R. Miller skipper admits it will be tough for his squad to successfully defend its Class 3A Area Tournament championship.
T.R. Miller Tigers basketball schedule
Nov. 21 Escambia County Home 4:30 p.m.
Nov. 22 Jay (Fla.) Away 6 p.m.
Nov. 29 Northview (Fla.) Home 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 2 Andalusia Away 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 8-10 Escambia County Tournament at Flomaton
Dec. 16 Monroe County Home 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 17 Marianna (Fla.) at Milton (Fla.) 2 p.m.
Dec. 22-23 Oxford Tournament
Dec. 27-30 T.R. Miller Tournament
Jan. 3 Clarke County Away 5 p.m.
Jan. 6 Flomaton Home 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 7 Hillcrest-Evergreen Away 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 10 W.S. Neal Home 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 13 Clarke County Home 5 p.m.
Jan. 17 Straughn Away 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 W.S. Neal Away 5 p.m.
Jan. 21 Jay Home 6 p.m.
Jan. 27 Straughn Home 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 28 Greenville Home 4:30 p.m.
Jan. 31 Flomaton Away 4:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 Monroe County Away 4:30 p.m.