Defense keys win: Lady Tigers rally to start season with win
Published 8:03 am Wednesday, November 24, 2010
The T.R. Miller Lady Tiger basketball team found the saying “it is not how you start, but how you end” to be true Monday in their first basketball game of the 2010-2011 season against West Florida Tech at the Choctawhatchee Thanksgiving tournament
The Lady Tigers found themselves in an early 10-0 hole to the Lady Jaguars but Lady Tiger head coach Ron Jackson stuck with his motto of tough defense and his Lady Tigers responded and went on to start the season 1-0 with a 46-35 win.
“Each year we go to Ft. Walton and play hard in their tournament,” Jackson said. “They always have a good tournament. The game tonight started out as I kind of expected it. We have not played a ballgame and the team we play tonight has played five. We have got to get those first game jitters out of the way, but it gives us the opportunity to look at some of the things that we really need to improve on in order to be a competitive team.”
After starting the game down 10-0 with 4:15 left in the first, the Lady Tigers closed the gap to 10-7 with 1:17 left in the quarter but trailed 14-9 after the first quarter of play.
From there, the Lady Tigers used an 8-0 run in the second quarter to turn a 19-13 deficit with 3:43 left before half into a 21-19 lead with 1:59 to go.
From that point on, the Lady Tigers would never trail as they outscored West Florida 18-9 in the second quarter to lead 27-23 at the half.
In the third quarter, T.R. Miller would outscore the Jaguars 9-6 to hold a 36-29 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
After ending the third quarter on a 5-0 run, the Lady Tigers continued that run to start the fourth as they extended it to a 15-0 run to take a 46-29 lead with 2:45 left in the game. West Florida would end the game on their own 5-0 run but the Lady Tigers would get the 46-35, 11-point win after a 10-6 advantage in the fourth quarter.
T.R. Miller had six scorers in the game with three in double digits. Brittany Rush led T.R. Miller with 14 points followed by Courtney Jones and Leah Brundidge with 12 points each. Sha Kiser had six points and Adrian Gibbs and Diamond Middleton both had one point each.
Jackson said Rush had a great first game Monday night.
“Brittany did a good job for us tonight,” Jackson said. “Also, Leah (Brundidge) did a good job for us. We got some good playing time out of both Adrian Gibbs and Diamond Middleton. So we are going to need for some more folks to come off the bench and give us some help. I am looking for Shyler Dees to get some playing time for us as well.
“If we get some playing time out of them, as we go down the stretch, we are going to need more people to get out there and play.”
T.R. Miller shot 4-for-14 from the free throw line in the win while West Florida shot 7-for-15.
With the win Monday, T.R. Miller was set to take on Pensacola at 7 p.m. Tuesday. With a win Tuesday, T.R. Miller will play for the championship Wednesday and with a loss Tuesday, will play in the third and fourth place game.
Last year, T.R. Miller lost to Pensacola High School 77-57 in this same tournament.
Of T.R. Miller’s 10 total losses the past three seasons, (five in 2007-2008, two in 2008-2009, three in 2009-2010) three of them have come at the hands of Pensacola.
Also of the 10, six have come from teams outside of Alabama (Pensacola-2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, Washington-2007-08, Pine Forest-2007-08, Bearden-Tennessee (2008-09) while four have come to teams in Alabama (UMS-Wright-2007-08, Deshler-2007-08, Thomasville-2009-10, Madison Academy2009-10).