By Thomas Sellers Jr.
CORDOVA — There wasn’t much to cheer about on the Millington Trojans’ bench Feb. 5 in the Cordova gymnasium.
The Trojans spotted the host Cordova Wolves a 26-11 halftime advantage missing several shots. Millington Head Coach Rob Sabau said shooting wasn’t the worst part of his team’s performance in the first 16 minutes.
“We didn’t shoot the ball very well,” he noted. “The thing that really hurt us, we had 15 turnovers. Fifteen turnovers in one half is unacceptable. Like I told them at halftime, ‘If we’re not shooting the ball well, we’ve got to have every possession so we can take one shot and hopefully make one of them.’ All that said, we’re only down 15 at the break.”
The Trojans rallied in the second half behind the play of Roddarius Johnson, DeCarlos Holmes, Kendrick Carter and Kelby Hollowell. When senior guard Hollowell made a tough layup late in the fourth quarter making the score 45-42 in favor of the Wolves.
But while Cordova went ice cold from the free-throw line, the Trojans’ bad shooting returned just in time to miss three triple attempts. The Wolves prevailed 49-43.
“We battled back and gave ourselves a chance,” Sabau said. “You put yourself in that kind of hole, it’s tough to dig out.”
Millington started digging with a Jordan Browning three-pointer making the score 30-16. Then Carter hit a shot in the post that made the score 30-18.
When center Holmes made a drop-step move for a two-hand power jam, the Trojans had 7 points in the third quarter, beating their total 4 in the opening period and already tying their output in the second quarter.
Holmes tip of a teammate’s miss midway in the third made the score 34-22 and was two more of Millington’s 16 points in the period.
The Trojans cut the deficit to single digits when point guard Jerick Newsome fired a pass to Johnson for a three-pointer. Cordova managed to take a 37-27 lead into the fourth quarter.
Johnson kept his hot shooting in the fourth when he nailed another triple to make the score 38-30. Millington stayed within shouting distance with three Carter foul shots.
When Hollowell got into the three-point act hitting a triple the score was 44-36. Roddarius’ big brother El Paso made a free throw that made the tally 44-37.
Moments later Holmes hit a jumper at the foul line to make the score 45-39. Holmes had a chance to trim the deficit even more at the free-throw line, this time taking foul shots.
The senior hit his first attempt with a minute and 33 seconds left in the game to make the score 45-40. But his second shot rimmed out into the hands of a Cordova player. But Millington junior guard LaKeron Garcia eased up from behind and picked his pocket.
Stealing the basketball Garcia located a driving Hollowell for a layup over several Wolves. The score was 45-42.
Cordova managed to ice the game down the stretch going 3-9 from the line at one point. While the Wolves were missing foul shots, Millington was breaking three-point attempts.
Sabau said his team has to move forward from the defeat and get ready for the District 14-3A Tournament this week.
“All that matters is that district tournament,” he concluded. “And we know we’re good enough to beat any of those teams in the district on any given night. We’ve just got to keep working and getting better in practice, win these last two games at home and go into the district tournament with some momentum.”