Lady Tigers next stop: SW Regional
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
TRM gets rematch against Midfield in regional opener
It was not that the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers were in a bad position at halftime because they had an eight-point lead.
Yet T.R. Miller coach Ron Jackson knew if his team was to stay in control, it had to make some adjustments. Those adjustments came on the defensive end.
After the Lady Tigers surrendered 26 points in the first half, they gave up just 13 more the rest of the way and cruised to a 55-39 win over the Francis Marion Lady Rams in Thursday's Class 3A sub-regional game played at T.R. Miller.
The win sends the Lady Tigers (27-4) into the Sweet 16 and the Southwest Regional to be played at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. T.R. Miller will open up play against Midfield Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.
Midfield (26-7) advanced with a 67-31 win over Springville. It was Midfield which ousted T.R. Miller in last season's Southwest Regional championship game. Leeds and Sumter County will square off in the other regional semifinal game. The two winners will return for Saturday's 9 a.m. championship game.
The Lady Tigers were able to punch their ticket to Mobile largely through the production of seniors Joy McCorvey and Jasmine Sanford. Francis Marion (19-8) had no answer for McCorvey, who threw in a game high 29 points, and Sanford was a steady force as well with another 16.
Fatigue as well as the Lady Tigers probably caught up with Francis Marion. The Lady Rams did not make any substitutions until the fourth quarter was nearly three minutes old and just one substitution for the first 30 minutes.
Despite 10 first quarter points from McCorvey, Francis Marion was nearly able to match the Lady Tigers blow for blow.
In fact, the Lady Rams took their first lead when Quinesha Arrington's field goal put Francis Marion up 12-10 with See LADY TIGERS Page 2B
just over a minute left in the quarter and their second and last lead seconds later when Jaleesa Jackson's field goal put the visitors up 14-13.
Two free throws by Sanford and a bucket by McCorvey in the final minute of the frame put T.R. Miller back in front 17-14 and the Lady Tigers never trailed again.
The Lady Tigers widened their lead in the opening moments of the second quarter when McCorvey scored off a stolen inbounds pass and Keya Peterson drained a three-pointer that stretched the advantage to 22-14.
Although Francis Marion managed to cut the gap to 28-23 on Jamie Morton's field goal with three minutes left in the half, the Lady Tigers took their lead into double digits for the first time when a pair of hoops by McCorvey and one by Sanford made it 34-24 with 30 seconds left in the half.
Francis Marion, which trailed 34-26 at halftime, made its last charge three minutes into the second half when a steal and layup by Arrington made it 38-31.
T.R. Miller's cushion quickly went back to double digits and McCorvey's jumper from the right side of the free throw line at the third quarter buzzer made it 43-32.
Francis Marion's already fading chances all but disappeared when T.R. Miller began the fourth quarter with two buckets by McCorvey and one by Sanford that swelled the gap to 49-32. The Lady Tigers' lead never dropped below 15 points the rest of the way.
At T.R. Miller
Francis Marion 14 12 6 7 - 39
T.R. Miller 17 17 9 12 - 55
FRANCIS MARION (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Arrington 6-0-1-13; Morton 3-0-4-10; Jackson 3-1-1-10; Sims 2-0-0-4; Moore 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 15-1-6-39)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) McCorvey 14-0-1-29; Sanford 6-0-4-16; Grice 2-0-0-4; Key. Peterson 0-1-0-3; Kes. Peterson 0-1-0-3 (Totals: 22-2-5-55)