Tigers “D” shuts down Monroe County
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Defense may not have won the T.R. Miller Tigers a championship Friday, but it did get them a 50-42 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Monroe County Tigers.
T.R. Miller was able to overcome a five-point halftime deficit by holding the visiting Tigers to just 14 points and forcing 12 turnovers in the second half.
Monroe County had a 28-23 halftime lead thanks largely to 11 points from Terrell Armstrong and 10 more by Josh Stallworth, but those players only had two each in the second half.
"We made some defensive adjustments in the second half. We put Laine Lucas on Stallworth and Brandon Andrews on Armstrong and they shut those guys down. Terrelle Brooks also had a strong defensive game for us. Without a doubt defense won the game for us," T.R. Miller coach Rob Atkinson said.
The host Tigers (5-3) fought an uphill battle in the first half when they led just once for 18 seconds. That occasion came with just over two minutes left in the first quarter when Jordan Knight, who had three early buckets, scored from down low to put T.R. Miller up 10-9.
Armstrong quickly wiped out that lead with back-to-back three-pointers to help Monroe County (4-8) close out the frame with a 15-10 lead.
Stallworth made his presence felt in the second quarter where he had three buckets and a pair of free throws. The last of his hoops gave the visiting Tigers their biggest lead of the game at 28-21 with two minutes left in the half.
Junior guard Wade Jackson, who knocked in 18 points for the game, rallied the Tigers in the third quarter. His first three-pointer of the frame pulled T.R. Miller even at 30-30 and his second trey of the quarter put the Tigers ahead 36-34.
T.R. Miller, which led 37-36 at the end of the quarter, would not relinquish its advantage but not without a struggle in the fourth quarter due to problems at the free throw line.
At one time, the host Tigers missed eight of 10 attempts at the charity stripe before they rebounded to hit nine of their next 12. Jackson gave the Tigers a boost in the final minute where he hit five of six free throws.
The real key though was the T.R. Miller defense, which gave up just two points and forced six turnovers in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter.
"We did a good job of getting to the free throw line (where T.R. Miller was 19-for-34 for the game). We didn't shoot very well there most of the fourth quarter, but Wade came up big at the line late in the game and Brooks also had a couple of key free throws with just over a minute left that were huge," Atkinson said.
T.R. Miller's junior varsity held on for a 39-36 win over Monroe County. The Tigers (4-1) got 10 points each from Terry Hetherington, David Payne and Teras Fountain.
The Tigers, who faced Marianna (Fla.) Saturday at the Milton (Fla.) Shoot-out, open play at the Oxford Tournament Thursday where they face Etowah at 4:30 p.m. T.R. Miller will then take on Oxford Friday at 7:30 p.m.
At T.R. Miller
Monroe County 15 13 8 6 – 42
T.R. Miller 10 13 14 13 – 50
See TIGERS Page 3B
MONROE COUNTY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) T. Armstrong 1-2-5-13; Stallworth 5-0-2-12; Lee 4-0-0-8; D. Armstrong 3-0-0-6; McCall 1-0-0-2; Nettles 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 14-2-8-42)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Jo. Knight 7-0-5-19; Jackson 2-2-8-18; Andrews 1-1-2-7; Brooks 1-0-3-5; Lucas 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 11-3-19-50)
Monroe County 5 11 6 14 – 36
T.R. Miller 8 8 10 11 – 39
MONROE COUNTY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Stanton 6-0-1-13; Madison 6-0-0-12; Clausell 2-0-0-4; Edward 1-0-0-2; Patrick 1-0-0-2; Hawthorne 1-0-0-2; Richardson 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 17-0-2-36)
T.R.MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) D. Payne 5-0-0-10; Fountain 4-0-2-10; Hetherington 4-0-2-10; J. Payne 3-0-1-7; Arauz 0-0-2-2 (Totals: 16-0-7-39)