Composure, comeback put TRM boys on top in Area race

Published 3:02 am Monday, January 15, 2007

By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
It was a game of two halves. Fortunately for the T.R. Miller Tigers, they won the right half and they won a big 47-37 road decision over the defending Class 4A state champion Hillcrest-Evergreen Jaguars Friday.
T.R. Miller's fourth straight win to start 2007 temporarily moved the Tigers (10-3 overall and 3-0 in Class 4A Area 2) into sole possession of the Area lead, one-half game ahead of Class 4A No. 1 Andalusia (2-0). Those teams square off for the Area lead Tuesday at Brewton.
The Tigers, who also beat Hillcrest 51-42 at Brewton eight days earlier, were able to complete the regular season sweep of the Jaguars despite the fact they fell behind 15 points in the first half thanks to the torrid shooting of Hillcrest's P.K. Riley.
Riley buried three three-pointers in the opening quarter when the Jaguars raced out to a 12-1 lead and led 17-6 at the end of the first quarter. Riley hit two more from behind the arc in the second quarter when the Jaguars (7-9
overall and 0-3 in Area) stretched their cushion to a game-high bulge of 26-11 before T.R. Miller rallied to cut the gap to 27-19 at halftime.
The Tigers were able to stay within reasonable striking distance at the free throw line where they hit 10 of 15 attempts. T.R. Miller only scored nine points from the floor in the first half.
The Tigers limited Riley to just one trey for his only points in the second half. Their best defense against him was not to let him get the ball. In fact, T.R. Miller did not let the Jaguars touch the ball period, as their full-court press forced Hillcrest into 11 third quarter turnovers and 19 giveaways in the second half.
Two buckets and a free throw by Terry Hetherington and two field goals by Kelly Stallworth gave T.R. Miller a 9-0 run that brought them even at 32-32 late in the third quarter.
While Riley's final three-pointer of the game with a minute to go in the period put the Jaguars up 35-32, it would be their last lead of the game. In fact, T.R. Miller's defense allowed just two more points over the final nine minutes.
The Tigers took their first lead of the game with 6:17 left when Wade Jackson's fastbreak layup put the visitors up 36-35.
T.R. Miller was able to widen its lead on a layup by Terrelle Brooks off a steal by Hetherington and a steal and layup by Brooks. Stallworth also added a key bucket down the stretch.
Hillcrest pulled away in the second half to beat T.R. Miller's junior varsity 51-35. Derrick Riley tallied 10 points to lead T.R. Miller (4-3), while Alaric Watson added eight.
At Hillcrest
T.R. Miller 6 13 13 15 – 47
Hillcrest 17 10 8 2 – 37
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Hetherington 3-0-6-12; Stallworth 4-0-3-11; Jackson 3-0-5-11; Brooks 3-0-1-7; Andrews 1-1-0-5; Walker 0-0-1-1 (Totals; 14-1-16-47)
HILLCREST (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Riley 1-6-0-20; Holder 3-0-1-7; Dees 2-0-0-4; Herbert 0-0-2-2; Richardson 1-0-0-2; Bryant 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 8-6-3-37)
Junior varsity
T.R. Miller 12 7 8 8 – 35
Hillcrest 9 13 17 12 – 51
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Riley 4-0-2-10; Watson 1-2-0-8; M. Lane 3-0-1-7; McCorvey 2-0-0-4; Redfern 2-0-0-4; Banks 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 13-2-3-35)
HILLCREST (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Gross 4-0-1-9; Lyons 2-0-5-9; Shannon 3-0-2-8; Malcolm 2-0-2-6; Thomas 3-0-0-6; Lark 1-1-0-5; Terrell 2-0-0-4; Watson 1-0-0-2; Ferguson 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 19-1-10-51)
Tigers down WSN
T.R. Miller notched its second win of the season over archrival W.S. Neal Tuesday when it downed the Blue Eagles 66-41 at East Brewton.
Much of the Tigers' margin of victory was generated through their dominance on the boards where they had 23 offensive rebounds and through its pressure defense that forced W.S. Neal into 22 turnovers.
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the Tigers' second chances on the boards was Wade Jackson, who got most of his game-high 22 points through put-backs. It was Jackson's third straight 20-point outing.
It took a while to shake for T.R. Miller to shake the winless Blue Eagles. W.S Neal trailed 9-4 six minutes into the game when it narrowed the gap to 9-8 by the end of the quarter on buckets by Jamar Travis and Donald Peacock. The Blue Eagles took their lone lead of the game in the first minute of the second quarter when a field goal by Blake Bradley put W.S. Neal up 10-9.
Eight turnovers by the Blue Eagles in the second quarter soon began to take their toll. Three of those giveaways came in a 10-0 run that put T.R. Miller ahead for good. Two steals by Terry Hethering led to offensive rebound buckets by Jackson and a pick by Jackson led to his own free throw. Kelly Stallworth added a three-point play in the run that put T.R. Miller up 19-10.
Jackson had nine of his 12 points in the second quarter where T.R. Miller widened its lead to 28-16 by halftime.
The Tigers maintained that double-digit lead throughout the second half. Jackson reeled in a three-pointer, a three-point play and a bucket from inside the lane in the first four and a half minutes of the second half where the Tigers widened their lead to 40-21.
T.R. Miller's lead hit 20 points before the quarter ended when an offensive rebound bucket by David Payne made it 46-26. The lead hit 30 points with 4:19 left when Jeremy Curry's charity toss doubled the lead at 60-30.
T.R. Miller's junior varsity completed a sweep of the day's play for the Tigers against W.S. Neal with a 33-18 victory.
T.R. Miller trailed 7-6 after a quarter before the Tigers went on a 19-3 tear over the next two quarters.
Derrick Riley led the Tigers and all scorers with 11 points, while Jeremy Alexander paced W.S. Neal with eight.
At W.S. Neal
T.R. Miller 9 19 18 20 - 66
W.S. Neal 8 8 10 15 - 41
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Jackson 6-2-4-22; Hetherington 6-0-0-12; Stallworth 4-0-1-9; Curry 2-0-3-7; Brooks 2-1-0-7; Arauz 2-0-0-4; Payne 1-0-1-3; Walker 0-0-2-2 (Totals: 23-3-11-66)
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Wilson 3-1-1-10; Elliott 2-1-2-9; Travis 1-0-4-6; Payne 1-0-3-5; Peacock 2-0-0-4; Bradley 1-0-1-3; Mickens 1-0-0-2; Shell 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 12-2-11-41)
Junior varsity
T.R. Miller 6 10 9 8 - 33
W.S. Neal 7 3 0 8 - 18
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Riley 4-0-3-11; M. Lane 1-1-1-6; McCorvey 2-0-1-5; Powell 2-0-0-4; Banks 0-1-0-3; Redfern 1-0-0-2; Lewis 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 11-2-5-33)
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Alexander 4-0-0-8; Sanders 1-0-1-3; Samuel 1-0-1-3; Floyd 1-0-0-2; Hunter 1-0-0-2 (Totals; 8-0-2-18)