By Thomas Sellers Jr.
For four years, Jasmine Newsome built a reputation around Millington for clutch plays and timely shooting on the basketball court.
The all-time leading scorer in Millington Lady Trojans Basketball history is now preparing for her junior season at UT-Martin. One of the Millington coaches that watched Newsome all those years from the sideline was current Lady Trojan Soccer Head Coach Melida Jemmott.
These days Jemmott has an up close view of another Millington Lady Trojans standout in Katlyn Dupree.
“Dupree, I call her my Jasmine Newsome,” Jemmott said after the Lady Trojans took on the Brighton Lady Cardinals Sept. 18 in Centennial Park.
Dupree scored two late goals in Millington’s comeback effort. But the 3-0 lead Brighton built in the first half was too much to overcome with the Lady Cardinals heading back to Tipton County 3-2 victors. The victory improved Brighton to 7-1 on the season.
“It’s going good,” Lady Cardinal Head Coach Shari Garrett said. “They prepared well. We have a strong back four. It’s keeping us solid. We lost a huge player, our center-mid. So we’re trying to pick that up in the middle. We moved some people around and doing well.”
Garrett got a late start on the 2012 season after giving birth to daughter Norah on July 2. After wrapping up maternity leave Garrett kept Brighton’s positive start going, rolling off six wins.
The latest came against the Lady Trojans. The Lady Cardinals jumped ahead 1-0 in the first half when Courtney Carpenter located Kelsi Williams for a goal.
Then Carpenter got into the scoring act taking a shot on goal and connecting. Ahead 2-0, the Lady Cardinals put the ball back on the feet of Carpenter.
She tallied her second assist of the contest finding teammate Montana Allread. The goal from Allread made the score 3-0 before halftime.
“The strength is we play as a team,” Garrett said. “We don’t really have a strength or a weakness. We play as one. We practice as one. Then we’re winning as one.”
Winning seemed to be a done deal late into the second half. Then the Lady Trojans seemed to get a second wind.
“They were a little tired because we played three games on Saturday in Jackson,” Jemmott noted. “They played three full games. Not giving up at the end, if we would have had another five minutes, we would have tied the game. They played hard until the end.”
The Lady Trojans went to their go-to player in Dupree. The all-time leading scorer in Millington Soccer history added to her total with a goal from 25 feet away. Just minutes later Dupree took a shot from a side angle and hit a rainbow over the Brighton goalie’s hands that made the score 3-2.
“That sun beaming on the keeper, she got two lucky shots off in the corner,” Garrett said. “We played strong until the end.”
The Brighton defense lock down in the last few minutes of the game and Lady Cardinals like Hannah Whitefoot played keep away until the whistle blew.
Despite the defeat, Jemmott said her team played well against a good Brighton team.
“If you have seen us the very first game, we were playing like we were in Kindergarten,” she acknowledged. “Now you look at us, we’re playing aggressive, not giving up, passing the ball better. We’re making adjustments. As we continued to move forward, things will continued to get better.”
Garrett said her team is getting better each game because the level of competition has increased.
“We’re not going to get any better until we start playing harder teams,” she said. “So we really jumped up our schedule this year. That was by design.
“We’re not going to get any better until we start playing Arlington and Bolton,” Garrett concluded. “So we took out some of those Memphis teams to step up a little bit.”