Tigers clinch winning season
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
On a night where the T.R. Miller Tigers honored their lone senior, Laine Lucas, before the game, it was their underclassmen that paved the way to a 60-42 victory over the visiting Straughn Tigers Friday.
Led by junior Wade Jackson's 20 points, 14 from sophomore Jordan Knight and 10 more from junior Kelly Stallworth, underclassmen accounted for 56 of T.R. Miller's 60 points.
T.R. Miller's fifth straight win clinched a winning season for the Tigers (14-10 overall and 4-2 in Class 3A Area 1).
"That's nice considering where we were a couple of weeks ago, but record isn't our main focus. Our main focus is getting ready for the postseason," T.R. Miller coach Rob Atkinson said.
The host Tigers caught fire in the second quarter when they started to wear down a Straughn team (8-12 overall and 1-5 in Area 1) that dressed only six players and was missing starters Alphonso Freeney and Andrew Carter due to a football recruiting trip.
Tied 9-9 two minutes into the second quarter, T.R. Miller strung together a 16-0 run in just three minutes. Jordan Knight had back-to-back three-pointers and Jackson had a three-point play followed by a three-pointer to account for 12 of those points.
T.R. Miller got a couple more buckets from Knight and Terrelle Brooks over the final three minutes of the first half that stretched T.R. Miller's lead to 33-16 by halftime.
If that cushion was not enough to secure the host Tigers' victory, a pair of hoops and a three-pointer by Jackson to start the second half were.
Later in the third quarter a pair of buckets and two free throws by Stallworth increased T.R. Miller's lead to a game high bulge of 51-22.
Down 11-8 at halftime, T.R. Miller's junior varsity ambushed Straughn 27-3 in the second half on its way to a 35-14 victory.
Terry Hetherington had 12 points to pace the Tigers (13-2), while David Payne and Corey Cunningham each had eight.
T.R. Miller travels to Flomaton Tuesday and closes out the regular season Friday at Monroe County.
At T.R. Miller
Straughn 7 9 9 17 – 42
T.R. Miller 9 24 20 7 – 60
STRAUGHN (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Huggins 1-3-3-14; Tren. Driver 5-0-3-13; Trev. Driver 6-0-0-12; Parker 0-1-0-3 (Totals: 12-4-6-42)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Jackson 5-3-1-20; Jo. Knight 4-2-0-14; Stallworth 4-0-2-10; Andrews 2-1-0-7; Lucas 2-0-0-4; Brooks 2-0-0-4; Je. Knight 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 19-6-4-60)
Straughn 5 6 2 1 – 14
T.R. Miller 4 4 12 15 – 35
STRAUGHN (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Armstrong 1-1-0-5; Felton 2-0-0-4; Kinsaul 1-0-0-2; Yelverton 1-0-0-2; Byrd 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 5-1-1-14)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Hetherington 4-1-1-12; D. Payne 4-0-0-8; J. Payne 1-0-1-3; Lane 1-0-0-2; Fountain 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 15-1-2-35)