Area crown a good fit with TRM girls

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, February 15, 2006

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Jasmine Sanford and Joy McCorvey were a little better than Erica Moore and Courtney Thomas and the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers were a little better than the Clarke County Lady Bulldogs.
While the two duos accounted for all but four of their team's points, Sanford's 20 points and McCorvey's 14 were enough to carry the Lady Tigers to a 38-31 victory in Saturday's Class 3A Area 1 Tournament championship game played at T.R. Miller.
It was the third victory of the season by T.R. Miller (26-4) over Clarke County (21-11) and easily the most difficult.
After a 78-28 first-round win over W.S. Neal where they scored 54 points in the first half alone, hit 14 of their first 16 shots and had 10 players score, the Lady Tigers hit just 37 percent from the floor (17-for-45) against Clarke County and failed to hit anything behind the three-point arc. Only four T.R. Miller players scored and none other than Sanford and McCorvey had more than two points
On the flip side, T.R. Miller's defense capped off a stellar tournament by holding Clarke County to 26 percent from the field (12-for-47). The Lady Tigers gave up 14 points to Moore and 13 to Thomas, but only four to the rest of the Clarke County lineup.
While McCorvey was saddled with foul trouble most of the first half and picked up her third early in the second quarter, Sanford helped pick up the slack.
In fact, Sanford scored T.R. Miller's first eight points and 12 of its first 14. As well as Sanford played, Thomas, Moore and the Lady Bulldogs were not far behind.
Thomas had a couple of field goals and Moore drained a three-pointer in the first quarter that had Clarke County within 12-7.
That lead dropped to 14-12 a couple minutes into the second quarter after Thomas had another field goal and free throw and Moore scored off an offensive rebound.
The Lady Bulldogs would get within a couple of points two more times in the quarter, but every time T.R. Miller answered. Twice the response came in buckets from McCorvey despite her foul problems. The last came late in the first half when Zykeya Barton came off the bench and scored from the wing. That shot
gave T.R. Miller a 20-16 halftime lead.
An offensive rebound bucket by McCorvey and two free throws by Sanford in the opening moments of the third quarter stretched the Lady Tigers lead to a game high eight-point gap of 24-16.
Although she was the only Clarke County player to score in the third quarter, Moore was able to keep the Lady Bulldogs within striking distance with three buckets and a free throw. The last of those field goals narrowed T.R. Miller's lead to 28-23 at the end of the third quarter.
It was also Moore who scored two minutes into the fourth quarter and brought Clarke County within 28-25, but the Lady Tigers halted that momentum as well as doubled the lead when McCorvey turned in a three-point play.
The Lady Bulldogs narrowed the lead to 33-29 when Celeste Snell scored from inside the lane with 3:46 left.
T.R. Miller went to a spread offense and twice Sanford scored on backdoor plays off assists from McCorvey. The second of those field goals took the lead back up to eight points at 37-29 with two minutes left.
T.R. Miller will host Francis Marion Thursday at 7 p.m. in the sub-regional round for the right to advance to next week's Class 3A Southwest Regional at Mobile. Francis Marion, the runner-up from Area 6, lost its Area title game to Sumter County 44-42 Monday.
At T.R. Miller
Clarke County 7 9 7 8 – 31
T.R. Miller 12 8 8 10 – 38
CLARKE COUNTY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Moore 5-1-1-14; Thomas 4-0-5-13; Snell 1-0-0-2; Denson 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 11-1-6-31)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Sanford 9-0-2-20; McCorvey 6-0-2-14; Barton 1-0-0-2; Grice 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 17-0-4-38)

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