Tigers notch Area wins over Straughn, WSN
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
While it was the T.R. Miller Tigers' offense that tried to put the game on ice the last couple of minutes with its spread formation, it was the Tigers' fourth quarter defense that gave the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles a chill in their 51-40 win at East Brewton Friday.
The Tigers had just a one-point lead with six minutes left, but T.R. Miller's defense held W.S. Neal scoreless over the next five minutes and the offense strung together a 12-0 run during that time to pull away. The Blue Eagles missed 10 straight shots during that stretch.
W.S. Neal coach Robbie Grace also acknowledged his team's effort, but admitted there were plenty of areas where his team could have taken advantage of to win the game.
One of those was the free throw line where the Blue Eagles hit just four of 18 attempts.
A pair of buckets and four free throws by Brandon Andrews enabled T.R. Miller (11-10 overall and 3-2 in Class 3A Area 1) to take a 13-8 lead through one quarter.
W.S. Neal (5-15 overall and 0-5 in Area 1) rallied and took the lead on three occasions in the second quarter. The last of which came on a three-pointer
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by Cecil Thomas with 20 seconds in the half that propelled the Blue Eagles to a 23-21 halftime lead.
Back-to-back hoops by Jake Bailey at the start of the third quarter stretched W.S. Neal's lead to a game high margin of 27-21.
After those two quick buckets, W.S. Neal scored just four more points the remainder of the third quarter. That opened the door for T.R. Miller to rally. The Tigers tied the game at 29-29 with two minutes left in the quarter on a pair of free throws by Wade Jackson. A basket by Jordan Knight moments later put T.R. Miller back in front 31-29.
Jonathan Alexander's basket with 17 seconds left in the quarter brought the Blue Eagles even again, the last time they would do so, at 31-31, but T.R. Miller's Terrelle Brooks drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to put the Tigers up 34-31.
The Tigers would not relinquish that lead although B.J. McMillian's bucket from just inside three-point land brought W.S. Neal within 36-35 with 6:17 left.
Brooks started a 12-0 run with another three-pointer. Two free throws and a fastbreak hoop by Andrews, a charity toss by Jackson and four more free throws by Andrews quickly swelled the lead to 48-35 with just over a minute left.
On a night where nearly everybody else struggled, Andrews excelled from the free throw line where he hit 12 of 14 attempts on his way to a game high 20 points. However, T.R. Miller was just 19-for-38 as a team.
The Tigers' victory came them back-to-back wins for the first time since they knocked off Flomaton and W.S. Neal at the Escambia County Tournament back in early December. The Tigers had alternated loss and win their previous 10 games.
T.R. Miller's junior varsity completed a season sweep of W.S. Neal with a 53-30 win.
Corey Cunningham fired in 14 points to lead T.R. Miller (11-1), while Terry Hetherington added 13. Jamar Travis had 12 points to lead W.S. Neal (10-4).
At W.S. Neal
T.R. Miller 13 8 13 17 – 51
W.S. Neal 8 15 8 9 – 40
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Andrews 4-0-12-20; Jackson 2-0-5-9; Jo. Knight 4-0-0-8; Brooks 0-2-1-7; Lucas 1-0-1-3; Curry 1-0-0-2; Walker 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 13-2-19-51)
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Thomas 2-1-0-7; Jak. Bailey 3-0-1-7; McMillian 2-0-2-6; Jo. Alexander 2-0-1-5; Green 2-0-0-4; Sanders 2-0-0-4; Ron. Travis 0-1-0-3; Roh. Travis 1-0-0-2; Madison 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 15-2-4-40)
T.R. Miller 17 15 10 11 – 53
W.S. Neal 11 3 6 10 – 30
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Cunningham 6-0-2-14; Hetherington 2-3-0-13; Arauz 3-1-0-9; D. Payne 2-0-1-5; Lane 1-0-2-4; Powell 1-0-0-2; Fountain 1-0-0-2; Watson 1-0-0-2; Redfern 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 18-4-5-53)
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) J. Travis 6-0-0-12; B. Bradley 2-0-1-5; Wilson 1-0-3-5; Lambert 1-0-2-4; Shell 1-0-0-2; Payne 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 12-0-6-30)
Tigers down Straughn
The Tigers used their best first quarter of the season and their best performance of the year at the free throw line to knockoff the host Straughn Tigers 50-45 Tuesday in an Area 1 matchup.
T.R. Miller's victory clinched the Area 1 regular season title for Clarke County, which will host the Area Tournament next month.
The Tigers raced out to a 24-11 lead in the opening quarter thanks to a 10-point period by Terrelle Brooks and six more points from Wade Jackson.
Straughn cut into that lead in the second quarter, as a 13-6 scoring advantage in that frame trimmed the gap to 30-24 by halftime.
While the T.R. Miller offense struggled to find the offensive success it had in the opening quarter, its defense in the third quarter allowed just two points and a couple big buckets by Brandon Andrews helped the visiting Tigers widen their lead to 39-26.
Led by a couple of big buckets by Alphonso Freeney and Andrew Carter, Straughn rallied in the fourth quarter and trimmed T.R. Miller's lead all the way down to just three points.
A couple of key free throws by Jordan Knight, his only points in the game, and a couple of buckets and three big free throws by Wade Jackson enabled T.R. Miller to survive the threat.
Brooks led the Tigers with 16 points, while Jackson also reached double figures with 13.
T.R. Miller's junior varsity won for the 10th time in 11 outings with a 48-23 win over Straughn.
David Payne and Terry Hetherington each had 11 points to lead the Tigers.
T.R. Miller 24 6 9 11 – 50
Straughn 11 13 2 19 – 45
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Brooks 5-0-6-16; Jackson 2-0-9-13; Walker 5-0-0-10; Andrews 2-1-0-7; Jo. Knight 0-0-2-2; Lucas 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 15-1-17-50)
STRAUGHN (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Freeney 6-0-1-13; Carter 4-1-2-13; Driver 5-0-0-10; Huggins 1-1-0-5; Jones 1-0-0-2; Cottle 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 18-2-8-45)
T.R. Miller 12 10 16 10 – 48
Straughn 7 6 6 4 – 23
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Hetherington 4-1-0-11; D. Payne 4-0-3-11; Fountain 4-0-0-8; Cunningham 3-0-0-6; Powell 3-0-0-6; Arauz 2-0-0-4 (Totals: 20-1-5-48)
STRAUGHN (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Armstrong 2-1-0-7; Felton 3-0-0-6; Powell 2-0-0-4; Taylor 1-0-2-4; Kinsaw 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 9-1-2-23)