Lady Tigers finally finish off Escambia County
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Perhaps they did not close the door as quickly or in a way they would have preferred.
Most importantly though, the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers were able to shut the door on the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils 49-39 Monday on Opening Night at Brewton.
Although the Lady Tigers led for all but a minute in the second quarter and led by as many as 13 points along the way, it was not until the final minute before they were able to secure the win.
After a 4-4 deadlock in the first couple of minutes, T.R. Miller surged ahead when an offensive rebound bucket by Joy McCorvey followed by a three-pointer by Jasmine Sanford and another bucket down low by Sanford off an assist by McCorvey put the Lady Tigers up 11-6.
T.R. Miller was held scoreless over the next five minutes and Escambia County took advantage of the dry spell to move in front. Buckets by Brittany Lee and Courtney English helped cut the gap to 11-9 by the end of the first quarter. Hoops by Ashanti Jones, Jasmine Sanders and English during the first three minutes of the second quarter put the Lady Blue Devils ahead 15-11.
T.R. Miller recovered later in the quarter and took the lead for good when a basket by McCorvey with 2:51 left in the half put the Lady Tigers up 18-16.
T.R. Miller, which led 20-16 at halftime, pushed its lead into double figures early in the third quarter when a pair of hoops by Krystle Smith and one by Sanford made it 28-18.
T.R. Miller widened that lead to 38-27 when Brittany Watson scored at the third quarter buzzer and it reached a game high bulge of 40-27 when Sanford scored in the opening moments of the fourth quarter.
It was still a 13-point gap of 44-31 with just over four minutes left, but Escambia County converted three T.R. Miller turnovers into three baskets the other way. The last of those, a hoop by Jones, pulled the Lady Blue Devils to within 44-37 with two and a half minutes still left.
Turnovers were a problem for the Lady Tigers down the stretch. Jackson had his team go to a spread offense over the last four minutes and during that time they coughed up the ball seven times. T.R. Miller had 20 turnovers for the game.
The Lady Tigers finally shut the door over final 30 seconds when Smith scored on an assist by Keya Peterson and McCorvey converted a three-point play to get the lead back into double digits.
The Lady Tigers will open up play at the Emerald Coast Classic at Choctawhatchee High School in Fort Walton Beach (Fla.) on Thanksgiving Day when they battle Niceville (Fla.) at 5 p.m.
T.R. Miller's second-round game on Friday has been changed to 1:15 p.m. due to the school's participation in the state football playoffs later in the day.
At T.R. Miller
Escambia Co. 9 7 11 12 – 39
T.R. Miller 11 9 18 11 – 49
ESCAMBIA COUNTY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) English 5-0-2-12; Sanders 5-0-2-12; Jones 2-0-1-5; B. Lee 2-0-0-4; Kidd 1-0-1-3; Banks 1-0-1-3 (Totals: 16-0-7-39)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Sanford 5-1-3-16; McCorvey 5-0-3-13; Watson 4-0-1-9; Smith 3-0-1-7; Scott 1-0-0-2; Peterson 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 19-1-8-49)