TRM basketball gets area wins over Hillcrest; sweeps BA Saturday

For the first time since the 2006-2007 season – a season that saw T.R. Miller’s varsity Tigers go on to play in the state’s Final Four – the Tigers took down the No. 4-ranked Hillcrest Jaguars by a score of 61-58 Friday night at home. The win for the Tigers improved them to 9-5 overall, and most importantly, 2-0 in area play.
Down 58-54 with 1:37 left in the game, the Tigers outscored Hillcrest 7-0 down the stretch to get the big win.
Trailing 58-56, the Tigers got a turnover from the Jaguars to give TRM the ball.
With 20.6 seconds left, TRM’s Trae Walker nailed a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 59-58 lead and send T.R. Miller Gymnasium into a frenzy.
TRM would get two more free throws from Chardian Johnson to put the Tigers up 61-58 and get the win.
The game-winning shot was Walker’s second time of being in the glory for the Tigers this season. Earlier in the year, Walker stole an inbound pass from Monroe County and hit a lay up in the final seconds to tie the game up and force overtime. TRM went on to win the game over Monroe County in overtime, but Walker said this one felt more special.
“It feels good to get the win because it makes us 2-0 in the area,” Walker said. “It also feels good to get a big win over a team that we have not beat in a while. I just shot it. Chardian told me to shoot it. That is what boosted my confidence. It felt like Monroeville game when I made that lay up. But this one felt better because it gave us the W.”
TRM head coach Juan Johnson was grinning ear-to-ear after the game. He said the win was a big win for his team.
“It is another area win,” he said. “We always talk about the next opponent up. I said earlier in the season that we were taking all opportunities and we were just going to see where it went. We practiced a little harder and we got after it. We worked on their press break and it pretty much showed tonight. We missed some buckets early and we kept at it and things started to fall for us. We started shooting some 3-pointers well in the second half. That is one of our trademark deals.”
Charidan Johnson led TRM in the win with 28 points while Walker added 23.
“They played outstanding,” Juan Johnson said of his two players. “They have been given the opportunities and they stepped up in those opportunities. That is what they did tonight. They played with the energy. They called up the courage and they got it done.”
TRM trailed Hillcrest 24-20 at the half after being outscored by the Jaguars 12-10 in both the first and second quarters.
In the third quarter, TRM used a 19-15 run to tie the game at 39-all heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, TRM used a 22-19 scoring advantage to help them take the win by three points.
TRM shot 15-for-19 from the free throw line while Hillcrest was 10-for-21.
Along with Johnson and Walker’s points, Kellyn Winn had six points. Austin Holmes and Tamerick Jenkins both had two points each in the win.

TRM Lady Tigers 46, Hillcrest 41
Trailing Hillcrest 38-35 after three quarters, TRM’s Lady Tigers used a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter to claim a 46-41 area win over the Lady Jags. The win improved TRM to 10-7 overall and 2-0 in area play. It was the Lady Tigers’ third straight win.
TRM led Hillcrest 8-7 after one quarter, but was outscored 16-9 in the second quarter to go into the locker rooms at the half down six points, 23-17.
In the third, TRM chipped away at Hillcrest’s lead as they held an 18-15 advantage to cut the lead to 38-35 heading into the fourth.
In the fourth, TRM ended the game on an 11-3 run to get the win.
Mekiah Williams led with 17 points and was joined in double figures by Kyla Bell’s 13. Bell had 11 straight points for TRM over the span of the third and fourth quarters.
Shae Nicholson chipped in seven points, Steely Ruzic had four, Morgan Longmire had three and Tiana Stallworth had two points.
The Lady Tigers were 11-for-31 from the free throw line while Hillcrest was 12-for-22.

Hillcrest 55, TRM B-team 44
Joshua Jolly had 20 points for TRM’s B-team Friday night against Hillcrest, but it was not enough as the Tigers lost 55-44 to drop to 2-6 overall this season.
TRM led Hillcrest 12-10 after one quarter of play. The Tigers used a 9-0 run in the quarter to grab a 9-2 lead, but Hillcrest outscored TRM 8-3 the rest of the quarter.
In the second quarter, Hillcrest outscored the Tigers 14-10 to take a 24-22 lead into the half.
In the third, Hillcrest outscored the Tigers 12-5 to take a 36-27 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, the Jaguars edged out TRM 19-17 to get the win by 11 points.
Along with Jolly’s 20 points, Hayden Atkinson had nine points and Darius Williams had five. Stokes Jennings finished with four points while Henry Davison, Jeremy Purdie, and Michael all had two points each in the loss.
TRM was 19-for-33 from the free throw line in the loss while Hillcrest was 16-for-21.
The Tigers shot 25 free throws in the first half and made 16. Of the 22 first half points for TRM, 16 came off free throws.

TRM at BA Saturday
Playing in a non-area game Saturday on the road at Bayside Academy, all three TRM teams came away with wins.
The B-team Tigers defeated the Admirals 33-23 to move their record to 3-6 while the Lady Tigers won 37-32 to see their record improve to 11-7 overall with their fourth straight win.
In varsity action, TRM picked up their fifth straight win with a 58-56 win over the Admirals.
TRM was scheduled to play at Excel Tuesday before returning home Friday for an area game with the Opp Bobcats.

TRM B-team 33, BA 23
TRM raced out to an early 16-5 lead in the first quarter and held on for a 33-23 win over Bayside Saturday.
Leading by 11 points after one quarter, Bayside cut the lead to 20-11 heading into the half after outscoring TRM 6-4 in the second quarter.
Bayside continued to chip away at TRM’s lead in the third quarter with a 7-5 run to trip the Tigers’ lead to 25-18 heading into the fourth.
In the fourth, TRM ended the game on an 8-5 run to seal the win by 10.
Michael Campbell led with 10 points while Hayden Atkinson chipped in six.
Joshua Jolly had seven, Darius Williams had six, and Jeremy Purdie chipped in two points in the win.

TRM Lady Tigers 37, BA 32
Leading the Lady Admirals by 13 points after three quarters, TRM’s Lady Tigers held on for a five-point win over Bayside by a score of 37-32.
TRM doubled up BA 8-4 in the first quarter and outscored the Lady Admirals 13-8 in the second quarter to take a 21-12 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, TRM increased their lead by four points after outscoring BA 10-6 in the quarter to hold a 31-18 lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth, BA made things interesting with a 14-6 run, but the Lady Tigers held on for the win.
Mekiah Williams led TRM with 13 points while Kyla Bell chipped in nine points. Steely Ruzic finished with four points along with Shae Nicholson, while Morgan Longmire and Emonea Curry both had three points each.

TRM varsity 58, BA 56
While TRM’s B-team and Lady Tigers had to hang on for wins in the fourth quarter, the varsity Tigers had to rally in the fourth.
Down 37-32 after three quarters, TRM outscored Bayside Academy 26-19 in the fourth to grab a two-point win by a score of 58-56.
BA led TRM 15-13 after one quarter and 30-25 at the half following a 15-12 advantage in the second quarter. In the third quarter, both teams scored seven points each.
Chardian Johnson and Trae Walker continued their hot streak from Friday’s win over Hillcrest as Johnson poured in 26 points and Walker added 20.
Kellyn Winn and Ahmaud Taylor both chipped in six points each for the Tigers in the win.