Categorized | Sports

Munford proves a point with Millington win

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Cougar Antonio Moore goes up for a bucket over Millington’s DeCarlos Holmes.

There was more electricity in the Munford Gymansium Friday night with the visiting rival Millington Trojans in town.

It wasn’t just the new lights over the court. The packed gym was buzzing with the unbeaten Trojans ready to take on the once-beaten Cougars. With something to prove by both teams, Munford made a statement they are for real in 2012-13 beating the senior-loaded Trojans 61-49.

“It’s good,” Cougar Kylon Hall said of the win. “We worked hard and practiced hard for this. When it came down to it, we won.

“We proved we can beat the best if we work hard at it,” he added. “We can go further this year.”

Hall is a veteran of the Millington/Munford rivalry. But his teammate Jonathan Stark experienced his first rivalry game with the Trojans.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “There was a lot of people here. I wasn’t expecting for everybody to come. It was a big win for Munford and the program. We came out and played hard, did what we needed to do.”

Starks spent his first three years of varsity ball at Brighton High School. He took on teams like Covington and Munford in Tipton County showdowns. He heard about the team from North Shelby County having a long-standing rivalry with Munford.

The latest installment of Millington/Munford basketball started slow for both teams with the Cougars taking a 9-4 lead into the second quarter.

The offense picked up in the second quarter when Trojan Johnathan Patterson made a put-back bucket to take the score 9-6. With both teams hyped for the game, Millington drew it’s second technical foul early in the second.

Starks made four straight free throws to make the score 13-6. Trojan guard Jordan Browning settled his team down by nailing a three-pointer. And seconds later on a fast break, Browning was located again for another triple to make the score 13-12.

Starks seized the momentum for Browning and the Trojans by pushing the ball upcourt for a fade-away jumper. That shot sparked a 13-2 run for the Cougars.

Cougars like Kameron Foster and Hall hit shots in the run to make the score 26-14. Trojan Antonio Webber finally ended Millington’s drought with a layup making the tally 26-16.

Munford managed to keep the lead at 10-points at the break leading 30-20.

By the end of the third quarter the Cougars build the advantage up to 18 points at 46-28. It was Patterson once again starting a quarter with a bucket for Millington. The senior forward banked in a three-pointer.

But the Cougars kept their poise and built the lead back up to 49-33 when Hall slammed down two points on a fastbreak.

After Hall’s dunk, the Trojans showed their maturity outscoring Munford 16-7 to trim the deficit to 54-49. Trojan center DeCarlos Holmes stepped out and drained a three-pointer to make it a 5-point game.

The Cougars didn’t panic putting the ball into their senior hands like Starks and Antonio Moore. The duo made foul shots down the stretch to win 61-49.

“We played as a team,” Starks said. “Nobody got selfish and took bad shots. We tried to keep the ball moving and work to get open shots. Toward the end of the game we did make a couple of mistakes. We have to get better at that.”

Ending November with a rivalry win, the Cougars know there is room for improvement. But the win over Millington makes an announcement to the Shelby-Metro Basketball World.

“We proved we have a pretty good team,” Starks concluded. “We still have a lot to work on. Once we get everything taken care of and get the people doing what they need to do, I think we can make it far.”

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