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Miller swept by Hillcrest at home

Lady Tigers lose in final minutes, 47-38

The rivalry between the T.R. Miller Lady Tigers and Hillcrest-Evergreen Lady Jaguars lived up to expectations on Friday, as another close game was decided in front of a packed house in Brewton.

Entering the third quarter, the game was tied 13-13. Hillcrest broke out with a 5-0 run, with buckets by Tykeria Merrills and Tyesha Rudolph. Miller responded with six straight points by Steely Ruzic. Aleria Smith and Kyla Bell-Barton. The third quarter closed with Hillcrest leading, 27-25, after a buzzer beating shot by Rudolph.

Shanecia Salvatore drained a three-pointer for Hillcrest to begin the fourth quarter. Miller answered with a free throw and Ruzic bucket to make the score, 30-28 in favor of Hillcrest. Rudolph added another score to extend the lead. Miller took the lead on a 7-0 run. Rudolph added another score and Salvatore made another three-pointer to push Hillcrest ahead 37-35. Bell-Barton gave Miller back the lead on a made bucket and free throw. Rudolph responded with a three-pointer on the other end to give Hillcrest a 40-38 lead. Hillcrest didn’t relinquish the lead again, closing out on a 7-0 run.

Leading Miller was Bell-Barton with 15 points, 13 rebounds and four steals. Ruzic finished the game with 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Rudolph had 17 points to lead Hillcrest, seven points coming in the fourth quarter. Salvatore had 16 points, with a game high four three-pointers.

Lady Jaguars head coach Tammi Patrick said her team is a focused group this year, and the win was a good test of their growth as a team.

“With any game, we always want to improve and get better,” Patrick said. “We know we didn’t want the same results as last year. Tonight we refused to lose. As the coach, I told them just to play their game, because I feel like it’s their time.”

Patrick said senior leadership played a pivotal role down the stretch of the game.

“We have five seniors this year, and I think they’re leadership has been good for us this season. Leadership was important for us this game and will continue to be so moving forward.”

In boy’s action the TRM B-team lost to Hillcrest 45-14. Hillcrest’s Adarius Oliver led all scorers with 11 points.

The varsity boys were pounded by Hillcrest, 63-28. Chris Lett of Hillcrest led all scorers with 11 points. Eleven different players scored for the Jaguars. Joshua Jolly led Miller with eight points.

Both schools will match up on Sat., Jan. 28, in Evergreen, beginning with the B-team at 4:30 p.m.