Lady Tigers season stalls out
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Too bad T.R. Miller Lady Tigers coach Ron Jackson did not have his kitchen sink available to throw at the Midfield Lady Patriots.
Nothing else Jackson and his team threw at Midfield worked, as the Lady Tigers had their season come to a close with a 49-16 loss in the Class 3A Southwest Regional played at Mobile Wednesday.
It marked the second straight year at the same venue T.R. Miller had its season ended by the Lady Patriots (27-7). Midfield beat the Lady Tigers 47-39 in last year's Southwest Regional final.
Unlike the 2005 matchup where T.R. Miller led at halftime and trailed by just two points headed into the fourth quarter, this time it was all Midfield from the word go.
In addition to scoring a season low 16 points, T.R. Miller (27-5) hit just 17 percent of its field goal attempts (five-for-29) and turned the ball over 22 times.
While 22 turnovers is a high figure for a normal game, it became an even more staggering high figure considering the Lady Tigers held the ball most of the first half.
The complexion of the game might have also changed if T.R. Miller had struck first. Instead 10 seconds into the game Midfield's Erica Baylor hit a three-pointer.
Despite falling behind, the Lady Tigers still opted to hold the ball. Almost six minutes passed before T.R. Miller attempted a shot when Joy McCorvey tried to catch the Midfield defense napping. McCorvey drove the bucket, but the shot bounced off the rim. It was the only field goal attempt the Lady Tigers took the entire quarter.
The strategy limited Midfield to just five field goal attempts in the first quarter. One of those came with 19 seconds left in the quarter when a steal by Meredith Mitchell led to a layup that extended Midfield's lead to 5-0.
Most of what few opportunities the Lady Tigers gave themselves in the first half ended in turnovers, as T.R. Miller turned the ball over seven times in its first 10 possessions.
The Lady Patriots gradually added to that advantage. Baylor hit her second three-pointer of the first half two minutes into the second quarter that made it 8-0.
Offensive rebound buckets by Courtney Jones and Mitchell over the next minute took the lead into double figures at 12-0. The shutout string eventually reached 17-0 after Mitchell scored with 1:37 left in the first half.
T.R. Miller finally got on the scoreboard with 1:15 left in the first half when McCorvey scored off an offensive rebound. McCorvey connected again, this time from just inside three-point land, just before the first half buzzer sounded to trim the Lady Patriots' lead to 17-4.
McCorvey completed T.R. Miller's 5-0 “run” when she hit one of two free throw attempts a minute and a half into the third quarter and pulled the Lady Tigers to within 17-5. It would be as close as T.R. Miller got.
After Midfield ran its lead to 22-5 over the next minute, McCorvey scored her 2,145th and final point in a Lady Tigers uniform with free throw.
Somebody besides McCorvey scored for T.R. Miller with 5:19 left in the third quarter when Shae Walker connected on a free throw attempt. Someone other than McCorvey made a field goal 40 seconds later when Jasmine Sanford, who
hobbled her way through
the game with an ankle injury, hit a baseline jumper to make it 24-9.
Sanford would add another field goal and a pair of free throws over the remainder of the quarter to bring her final figure in a T.R. Miller uniform to 1,402 points. Despite that mini outburst, Midfield still had a comfortable 31-14 lead headed into the final period.
The Lady Patriots made their already comfortable position even more so when they opened the fourth quarter with another three-pointer by Baylor and three buckets by Jones to spark a 10-0 run that made it 41-14.
Donya Grice's bucket with 3:14 left stopped that streak, but those were the only points T.R. Miller scored in the fourth quarter.
While Midfield advanced to Saturday's regional final against Sumter County, T.R. Miller bid farewell to seniors McCorvey, Sanford, Walker and Keya Peterson.
Midfield 5 12 14 18 – 49
T.R. Miller 0 4 10 2 – 16
MIDFIELD (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Baylor 0-3-2-11; Jones 5-0-0-10; Mitchell 4-0-1-9; Lowe 2-0-2-6; Turner 2-0-0-4; Adams 1-0-1-3; Young 1-0-0-2; Anderson 1-0-0-2; Hutton 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 17-3-6-49)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Sanford 2-0-3-7; McCorvey 2-0-2-6; Grice 1-0-0-2; Walker 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 5-0-6-16)