Youth doesn't keep TRM girls from Area lead

Published 3:01 am Monday, January 15, 2007

By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
Various circumstances reduced them to nothing more than a freshmen-sophomore team.
While that youth may have caused them to show some wilt at times, the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers held strongly down the stretch to down the host Hillcrest-Lady Jaguars 51-42 Friday.
T.R. Miller's fourth straight win catapulted the Lady Tigers (8-5 overall and 3-0 in Class 4A Area 2) into sole possession of the Area lead, one-half game ahead of Andalusia (2-0). T.R. Miller and Andalusia square off for the Area lead Tuesday at Brewton.
Although the Lady Tigers did not dress anybody who was older than a sophomore, they were able to hang on after their 14-point first half lead got chopped to just five in the second half.
Freshman Nakiya Smith and sophomore Kesha Peterson nearly matched Tuesday's individual efforts against W.S. Neal where they both had 18 points, as they each had 17 in Friday's win.
Both Smith and Peterson had a pair of field goals in the opening quarter when the Lady Tigers edged ahead 12-11.
Hillcrest (0-3 in Area play) took its last and only lead in the opening moments of the second quarter when Kwanis Thomas' offensive rebound basket put the Lady Jaguars up 13-12.
T.R. Miller's defense stepped up and held Hillcrest to no field goals and just one free throw over the next six and a half minutes. During that stretch the Lady Tigers went on a 16-1 run that put them ahead for good.
Peterson was the big spark of the surge with three straight field goals and four total, while Ashley Williams contributed a pair of buckets that gave T.R. Miller a 28-14 lead.
The Lady Tigers maintained that double-digit lead until the first 90 seconds of the third quarter when Hillcrest's Brittney Smith converted a three-point play that sliced the gap to 31-23.
The Lady Jaguars whittled away at the lead some more, as a field goal by Countess Rudolph in the final minute of the third quarter brought Hillcrest to within 35-29.
The lead dropped to five points on two occasions in the fourth quarter, the last of which was a 38-33 margin on a bucket by Kaylen Thomas with 5:13 left.
T.R. Miller regained the momentum and doubled its lead from five to 10 points over the next 90 seconds when a bucket by Smith, an offensive rebound hoop by Williams and a free throw by Peterson put the lead back into double digits at 43-33.
At Hillcrest
T.R. Miller 12 17 6 16 - 51
Hillcrest 11 7 11 13 - 42
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Smith 7-0-3-17; Peterson 5-0-7-17; Williams 4-1-0-11; Boley 2-0-0-4; McCorvey 0-0-1-1; Shedrone 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 18-1-12-51)
HILLCREST (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Ka. Thomas 5-0-0-10; Maye 5-0-0-10; Kw. Thomas 4-0-1-9; Smith 3-0-1-7; Floyd 1-0-0-2; Rudolph 1-0-0-2; Kyser 0-0-1-1; Ghee 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 19-0-4-42)
TRM downs W.S. Neal
T.R. Miller maintained its share of the Area lead Tuesday when it downed the host W.S. Neal Lady Blue Eagles 48-29.
Kesha Peterson and Nakiya Smith provided a potent one-two punch for the Lady Tigers, as they combined for 36 of the team's 48 points with 18 each.
Peterson asserted herself early in the game, as her three first quarter field goals helped T.R. Miller build an 8-5 lead through the first eight minutes.
It was Smith who carried much of the workload in the second quarter, as the freshman knocked in a three-pointer, had a steal for a layup, hit a jumper from the wing, drove in for another score and added a free throw in a 10-point quarter.
Smith's production helped the Lady Tigers go on a 15-3 run in the second quarter and extended the lead to 23-8.
T.R. Miller continued to pull away in the third quarter. Peterson turned a couple of steals into layups and Smith had a breakaway layup of her own, as the Lady Tigers took the lead above 20 points for the first time at 35-14.
At W.S. Neal
T.R. Miller 8 17 10 13 - 48
W.S. Neal 5 5 4 15 - 29
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Peterson 7-1-1-18; Smith 7-1-1-18; Green 2-0-2-6; Williams 1-0-1-3; Hubbard 0-1-0-3 (Totals: 17-2-8-48)
W.S. NEAL (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Folmar 2-2-2-12; Elliott 3-0-0-6; Alexander 2-0-0-4; Matthews 1-0-1-3; Thomas 1-0-0-2; Davis 1-0-0-2 (Totals: 10-2-3-29)

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