Lady Tigers celebrate state title

Published 7:02 am Sunday, March 1, 2009

By By Adam Robinson
Sports Editor

Things did not look good for the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers in the first half of the class 3A finals against Madison Academy.
The Lady Tigers trailed 16-7 at the end of the first quarter and 30-21 at the half.
But after the half, the Lady Tigers responded by scoring the first nine points of the quarter to tie the game at 30-30 and eventually outscore Madison Academy 15-4 in the quarter and held on for a 53-50 win to claim the class 3A girls state championship Saturday morning in Birmingham.
The win improved and finished the season for the Lady Tigers at 26-2 as they finished the season on a 19-game win streak.
After outscoring Madison Academy 15-4 in the third quarter, the Lady Tigers claimed a 36-34 lead after a Kesha Peterson 3-pointer with two seconds left heading into the final quarter of play.
With the two-point lead, and only eight minutes from a state championship, the Lady Tigers took a 42-34 lead and held Madison Academy scoreless until the 3:32 mark in the fourth quarter.
At the point, Madison Academy fought back and cut the Lady Tiger lead to three points with 1:54 left to play.
From there, Madison Academy went into foul mode and forced the Lady Tigers to win the game on the free throw line.
T.R. Miller missed three free throws and Madison Academy’s Haley Stewart connected for a long 3-pointer to cut the lead to 47-46 with 49 seconds left to play.
T.R. Miller then built a five-point lead with 28 seconds to play after two free throws from Nakiya Smith that made the Lady Tiger lead 51-46.
Madison quickly cut the lead to 51-48 with 21 seconds left to play and then got a steal on a T.R. Miller in-bound play to cut the lead to 51-50 with 18 seconds left.
Madison Academy then quickly fouled T.R. Miller, who missed both free throws but grabbed the rebound with 15 seconds to play.
Madison Academy as T.R. Miller claimed the three-point state championship win.
T.R. Miller trailed 16-7 after the first quarter and after both teams scored 14 points in the second quarter, trailed 30-21 at the half.
hoping we could get a steal here and there. We put a press on them and it turned in our favor. I told them at the half that we would make our defense turn into offense. We got a couple of steals and easy baskets that gave us the lead. Once we got the lead, I wanted to make them play us
a true man-to-man defense and get the ball the last two minutes of the ball game. We made some changes and put Nakiya on No. 4 and put Keydra on No. 14 and it just started clicking.”
Lady Tiger Keydra Shedrone said Jackson told them to go back with what got them to Birmingham-defense.
and that’s what we did,” Keydra Shedrone said. “We ran
hard, played hard and rebounded well and moved our feet.
Finally, it feels good. We worked hard for this and we got
Changing defensive schemes helped the Lady Tigers get the
momentum they needed to overcome the lead by Madison
at the half,” Madison Academy coach Brian Privett said.
people. We talked about it at halftime. For them to have
21 points at the half, and for them to have 53, we know we
have to hold teams under 50 and we didn’t do that today.
We had the ball in the right person’s hands, but a couple
of possessions before that was what I was disappointed in.
I thought our girls played good. We gave ourself the
Madison Academy Haley Stewart, who cut the game to one
point with a big 3-pointer for the Lady Mustangs, said the
third quarter was a key point in the game.
Academy player Stewart said of the T.R. Miller Lady
Tigers. “ And we just kept playing the same. We picked it up in the fourth quarter.”
Both Privett and Jackson said the final game was a game between the two best teams in 3A.
This marked the fourth state championship for the Lady Tigers, joining the 1995, 1996 and 2002 teams with win.
Kesha Peterson led the Lady Tigers with 22 points.
Smith picked up tournament MVP for the Lady Tigers. Smith had 17 points and six rebounds in the win.
Shedrone led T.R. Miller with 10 rebounds and Green led with three assists.
Smith and MyNetra Boley both had one block each and Green led with two steals.