TRM Lady Tiger basketball falls to Geneva at South Regional
Published 10:11 am Tuesday, February 22, 2011
For the first time since the 2006-2007 season, the T.R. Miller Lady Tiger basketball team will not be making a trip to Birmingham for the Final Four.
The Lady Tigers saw their season end Monday in Mobile in the first round at the South Regionals as they took a 51-41 loss to Geneva to end their season with a 21-6 record.
The 10-point loss to the Panthers of Geneva was mostly to an early deficit for the Lady Tigers that saw Geneva jump out to a quick 6-0 and 16-3 lead.
T.R. Miller cut the deficit to five in the second quarter and seven in the fourth quarter, but never could get any closer and climb out of the early hole.
With the win, Geneva (28-4) will play in Friday’s region championship game against Montgomery Academy.
“We did not come mentally ready to play tonight,” T.R. Miller Lady Tiger head coach Ron Jackson said. “The game is played for 32 minutes and we probably only played for 10. We missed too many free throws and we didn’t rebound. We came out playing lackadaisical and laid back and I don’t know why. We usually are a good defensive team and we did not play the defense that I am accustomed to seeing them play. For about eight or 10 minutes in the second half, we played that defense but we need to play that defense the whole ballgame. We can’t come out and play like we did and give up 50 points. We usually hold our opponents under 40 so defensively we did not play like T.R. Miller tonight. It was not our night. It looked like we didn’t want to win.”
T.R. Miller was held without a basket for the first 3:14 of the game while Geneva built a 6-0 lead. After a three-pointer by Sha Kiser to get T.R. Miller on the board at the 4:46 mark, Geneva then used a 10-0 run to build a 16-3 lead with 1:56 left in the quarter.
The Lady Tigers would use a 6-0 run to trail 18-9 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, T.R. Miller closed the gap to 19-14 with 5:54 left before the half but would be outscored 12-11 in the quarter to trail 30-20 at the half.
In the third quarter, T.R. Miller twice cut the lead to nine points, but an 11-8 advantage for Geneva gave them a 41-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, T.R. Miller started to chip away the Geneva lead and twice cut the Panther lead to seven points with the latter coming at the 2:48 mark.
T.R. Miller would get a late steal and be sent to the line to cut the lead to five points, but missed both free throw. T.R. Miller had their chance again to cut into the Geneva lead with some free throws but made 1-of-2 at the 2:15 mark to trail 45-39.
From that point, Geneva went on to outscore T.R. Miller 6-2 the remainder of the game to get the win by 10 points. T.R. Miller outscored Geneva 13-10 in the fourth.
The Lady Tigers shot 5-for-12 from the free throw line while Geneva was 14-for-25 and 4-for-9 in the final 2:05 of the game.
Leah Brundidge led T.R. Miller with 19 points and Sha Kiser had 14. Courtney Jones had four and Brittany Rush and LaTeysia Montgomery had two points each.
Despite the loss, Jackson said his team still had a great season.
“We won 21 ballgames and it is always good to win,” Jackson said. “Defensively we did not show up tonight the whole ballgame. We played defense in spurts, but we have to play defense for 32 minutes. If we had to do it over again, it probably would be a different ballgame but we don’t get to do it over. We were not defending them early and they were going to the goal and getting easy buckets. We were playing a man-to-man defense but they hit some early shots and we missed a couple of easy shots.”
Jackson said his team was just not ready Monday.
“I just think we didn’t come out mentally ready for this game and that is all I can think of,” Jackson said. “In a playoff game, you have to come out fired up and getting after them early and keep it up. We did not come out with the intensity needed to win a playoff game. If we were playing at home, we might have been able to do better, but you can’t dig a hole like that against a good playoff team. Geneva was a good team.”
The Lady Tigers will lose five seniors from the 2010-2011 team in Rush, Adrian Gibbs, Jones, Kiser, and Diamond Middleton.
“This group of seniors has been a good group,” Jackson said. “This is the last crop of seniors that came up with the championship team a few years ago. It was about 15 of those young ladies and there were five tenth graders, ninth graders and eighth graders. They are going to be missed. If I had another year with them, we would be ready but we can’t do it that way.”