Tigers get fourth shot to win own tournament
Published 1:17 am Sunday, December 31, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
Escambia County denied them in 2002. Greenville denied them in 2003. Mary G. Montgomery did the same in 2004.
The T.R. Miller Tigers got their fourth shot in five years to win their own holiday tournament Saturday when they tangled with Class 1A No. 1 J.F. Shields in the championship game of the Bank of Brewton Christmas Tournament.
The Tigers (6-2) earned their shot Friday when they held off the Northview, Fla. Chiefs 56-53. It was T.R. Miller's third victory in four weeks over the Chiefs (5-6), but it was easily the hardest. T.R. Miller won the first encounter 79-37 and the second meeting 67-45.
Friday's outcome may very well have been different if the Chiefs had hit anything at all from the free throw line. Northview missed 14 of 16 charity tosses, a meager 13 percent.
As it was, the Chiefs got themselves in position to win when they jumped out to a 25-16 lead with 3:58 left in the first half.
T.R. Miller was able to right the ship before halftime on a pair of buckets by Terrelle Brooks and one each by Terrence Walker and terry Hetherington along with a free throw by Brandon Andrews to tie the game at 25-25.
The Chiefs took their last lead with 1:20 left in the half on a basket by Vincent Longmire, but the Tigers got a three-pointer from the corner by Andrews at the buzzer to a take a 28-27 lead.
T.R. Miller appeared to take control of the game in the third quarter. Four buckets by Hetherington, who led T.R. Miller with 15 points, and two by Andrews sparked an 18-7 run that stretched the cushion to 46-34.
That advantage eventually hit 48-34 on a field goal by Kelly Stallworth with 6:42 left, but the Chiefs did not go away quietly.
Nakita Myles, who burned T.R. Miller for 30 points in the second encounter and 25 more in Friday's clash, hit five fourth quarter field goals, one of which was a three-pointer, to help Northview cut the gap to just 55-51 with 28 seconds left.
The Tigers, who missed three of four free throws in the final minute, got their only successful charity toss during that time by Wade Jackson with 26 ticks left to make it 56-51.
Northview made it a one-possession lead with a field goal with 10 seconds left, but could not get the clock stopped with a foul after the inbounds pass.
T.R. Miller vs. Northview
Northview 13 14 7 19 – 53
T.R. Miller 10 18 18 10 – 56
NORTHVIEW (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Myles 9-2-1-25; Longmire 6-1-0-15; Austin 4-0-1-9; Thomas 1-0-0-2; Donaldson 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 21-3-2-53)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Hetherington 6-1-0-15; Andrews 5-0-2-12; Brooks 3-1-2-11; Jackson 1-2-1-9; Stallworth 3-0-1-7; Walker 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 19-4-6-56)
T.R. Miller 57, Jay 19
The Tigers took advantage of a shorthanded Jay, Fla. squad, as it demolished the Royals 57-19 in Thursday's opening round.
Jay (5-6) was without the services of its top two leading scorers, Brandt Hendricks and Greg Nelson. Without Nelson and Hendricks, both guards, Jay was vulnerable in the backcourt against the T.R. Miller press.
The Royals turned the ball over 21 times, 11 of which came in the first half when Jay scored just six points.
T.R. Miller responded to the only tie score of the game, 2-2, with a 16-0 run in the first half and never looked back. Brandon Andrews triggered the early half of that run with a bucket off a steal by Terry Hetherington, a steal of his own that he turned into a layup and a three-pointer from the corner. Andrews also had a steal of his own that resulted in a layup by Terrelle Brooks that gave the Tigers a 13-2 lead through one quarter.
The Jay turnovers and T.R. Miller layups continued in the run at the start of the second quarter when buckets off steals by Wade Jackson and Corey Cunningham knocked the lead up to 18-2.
The 16-0 surge was not the only lengthy run by the Tigers. T.R. Miller led 18-6 in the late moments of the first half when it began a 13-0 run that carried over into the first five minutes of the second half. Hetherington contributed nearly half of that run, which increased the lead to 31-6, with a bucket and four free throws.
The most dramatic bucket of the quarter as well as the game came from Andrews when he buried a half-court three-pointer at the buzzer that gave T.R. Miller a 34-9 advantage.
At T.R. Miller
Jay 2 4 3 10 - 19
T.R. Miller 13 6 15 23 - 57
JAY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Castleberry 1-1-0-5; Kemp 2-0-0-4; Lowery 2-0-0-4; Randolph 0-0-2-2; Barlow 1-0-0-2; Cook 0-0-2-2 (Totals: 6-1-4-19)
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Andrews 4-3-0-17; Hetherington 5-0-4-14; Jackson 3-0-1-7; Fountain 3-0-0-6; Cunningham 2-0-0-4; Brooks 1-0-0-2; Stallworth 1-0-0-2; Smith 1-0-0-2; Middleton 1-0-0-2; Arauz 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 21-3-6-57)