Lady Tigers miss chance to knock off state-ranked EC
Published 4:25 am Wednesday, January 24, 2007
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
The winner was the same. The score was similar.
Yet the way the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers dropped Monday's 44-33 road decision to the Escambia County Blue Devils was far different from their first encounter where Escambia County notched a 49-39 win to claim the Escambia County Tournament championship.
The Lady Tigers (9-7) had just a one-possession deficit of 35-32 with a minute and a half left before the Lady Blue Devils (20-5 and ranked No. 6 in Class 4A) pulled away.
Both of T.R. Miller's encounters with Escambia County did have one common feature. It was a third quarter spurt in both games that put the Lady Blue Devils in the driver's seat.
The Lady Tigers were able to slow the tempo down early in the game. The slower pace along with a pair buckets by Mynetra Boley and one by Ashley Williams gave T.R. Miller a 6-5 lead through one quarter.
T.R. Miller ran its lead to 10-5 in the opening moments of the second quarter on a charity toss by Nakiya Smith, a steal by Catherine Green that led to a layup by Kesha Peterson and a free throw by Green.
Escambia County fought back and caught the Lady Tigers at 11-11 midway through the frame on a field goal by Courtney English. The Lady Blue Devils took the lead for good moments later on a basket by Jasmine Sanders.
Sanders, who had a game-high 15 points, had seven of those in the second quarter on three baskets and a free throw that gave the Lady Blue Devils an 18-15 halftime lead.
The first five minutes of the third quarter proved decisive. Escambia County, which outrebounded the Lady Tigers 7-0 in that stretch, got a pair of buckets by Ashley Kidd and one each by Sanders and Ashanti Jones that put Escambia County's lead in double digits for the first time at 26-15.
The Lady Tigers bounce back from their five-minute scoreless stretch with a three-pointer and field goal by Peterson and a three-pointer by Ashley Williams that narrowed the gap to 30-23 by the end of the third quarter.
Another trey, this one by Boley, shaved the Lady Blue Devils' lead down to 35-30 with 2:57 left. Just over minute later Nakiya Smith made it a one-possession game when she hit two free throws and brought the Lady Tigers within 35-32.
The next five possessions sealed the outcome where the Lady Tigers had a turnover and a missed shot, while Escambia County got a free throw by Sanders, two charity tosses by Kidd and an offensive rebound basket by Kidd that took the lead up to 40-32 with only 38 seconds left.
T.R. Miller heads to Andalusia Friday where it will try to force a tie for the Class 4A Area 2 regular season championship. The Lady Tigers trail Andalusia by a game in the loss column prior to Andalusia's game against Hillcrest Tuesday. Both teams end Area play Friday.
At Escambia County
T.R. Miller 6 9 8 10 - 33
Escambia Co. 5 13 17 14 - 44
T.R. MILLER (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Williams 3-1-0-9; Boley 2-1-1-8; Peterson 2-1-1-8; Smith 1-0-3-5; Shedrone 1-0-0-2; Green 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 9-3-6-33)
ESCAMBIA COUNTY (2FG-3FG-FT-TP) Sanders 5-0-5-15; Kidd 6-0-2-14; English 4-0-2-10; Crimble 1-0-0-2; Jones 1-0-0-2; Lee 0-0-1-1 (Totals: 17-0-10-44)