After four games and 2OTS, EC solves Lady Tigers
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Four games may not have been enough for the Escambia County Lady Blue Devils to solve the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers, but four games with a couple of extra periods were.
Escambia County avenged three earlier losses to the Lady Tigers by a combined 56 points with a surprising 55-53 double overtime win at Atmore Monday.
T.R. Miller (20-4) committed a season high 32 turnovers, 10 of which came in the two overtime periods. The Lady Tigers also struggled with their shooting most of the night. T.R. Miller was just seven-for-23 from the field (30 percent) through three quarters before it started to heat up.
T.R. Miller edged its way in front 8-7 in the first quarter thanks to a pair of field goals and two free throws by Joy McCorvey.
The Lady Blue Devils (14-9) got a pair of buckets by Tinneka Lett and Ashley Kidd to move in front for the first time 15-11 in the second quarter, but a bucket and two free throws by McCorvey and a charity toss by Sanford late in the frame gave T.R. Miller a 16-15 halftime lead.
Jasmine Sanders gave Escambia County a boost in the third quarter when her three field goals and free throw sparked the Lady Blue Devils back ahead 26-19.
The Lady Tigers, who trailed 28-25 at the end of the third quarter, moved back in front when Donya Grice's steal and layup put them up 29-28 with seven minutes.
Four more lead changes would follow in the quarter. The last saw T.R. Miller surge ahead 40-35 on two field goals and two free throws by Sanford over a three-minute period.
With 54 seconds left, Escambia County's Tinneka Lett hit the Lady Blue Devils only three-pointer of the game to narrow the lead to 40-38.
After a Lady Tigers turnover, Sanders hit the bucket with 25 seconds left that tied the game at 40-40 and forced overtime.
Two field goals by McCorvey were offset by a hoop and two free throws by Sanders. Keya Peterson hit what looked to be a huge three-pointer with two minutes left to put T.R. Miller up 47-44.
The Lady Tigers had that lead and the ball, but back-to-back turnovers led to a bucket by Ashley Jones and a free throw by Courtney English the game back up at 47-47 with 1:10 left in overtime.
The Lady Blue Devils missed two chances to take the lead in the final minute. Jones stole the ball only to see English miss a layup. Moments later English came up with a steal and scored, but got called for traveling.
Another T.R. Miller turnover, this one another steal by Jones, led to the go-ahead bucket with seven seconds left and put Escambia County up 49-47.
T.R. Miller threw an inbounds pass to McCorvey at half-court. The Lady Tigers standout, who fired in a game high 26 points, took the ball and drove to the bucket where she was fouled with :01.8.
While McCorvey has often struggled at the foul line this season, she calmly hit both foul shots to tie the game again at 49-49 and force a second overtime.
Foul trouble plagued the Lady Tigers most of the game. Shae Walker fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, but the biggest blow came 18 seconds into the second overtime period when McCorvey picked up her fifth foul when she tried to block Anushka Banks' shot attempt.
Mynetra Bolly took McCorvey's place and made her bid to be the hero when she put T.R. Miller up 51-49 with a bucket with 3:20 left. T.R. Miller increased that lead to 53-39 when Peterson hit two free throws with 2:12 left.
Much like late in regulation and the first overtime, turnovers in the waning moments caught up with the Lady Tigers.
A steal and layup by English with 1:44 left cut T.R. Miller's lead to 53-51. Another steal, this one by Lett, led to a game-tying bucket by English with 14 seconds left.
T.R. Miller's chance to go for the winning shot never materialized when Sanford was called for a carry with :06.8 left.
That opened the door for the Lady Blue Devils, as Jones took the inbounds pass on the left side, drove to the basket and scored at the horn.
The Lady Tigers close out the Class 3A Area 1 season Friday when they host Straughn. T.R. Miller plays its final home game of the regular season Saturday against Greenville.
At Escambia County
T.R. Miller 8 8 9 15 9 4 – 53
Escambia County 7 8 13 12 9 6 – 55
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) McCorvey 10-0-6-26; Sanford 3-0-7-13; Key. Peterson 1-1-4-9; Grice 1-0-1-3; Bolly 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 16-1-18-53)
ESCAMBIA COUNTY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Sanders 6-0-7-19; Kidd 4-0-0-8; Banks 3-0-2-8; English 4-0-0-8; Lett 2-1-0-7; Jones 2-0-0-4; B. Lee 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 21-1-10-55)