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Lady Trojans display improvements on both sides of court taking on area power Memphis Central

By Thomas Sellers Jr.LT Brown dribble

Lady Trojan Marquisha Sanders elevates to the rim for a bucket against Central last week.

Lady Trojan Marquisha Sanders elevates to the rim for a bucket against Central last week.

LT Tia Wooten goes up

For about 25 minutes of last week’s game, the Millington Lady Trojans showed signs of progress with solid defense and flow on offense.
But varsity high school games are 32 minutes long. And about 7 minutes of action against 2013 State Tournament participant, the Central Lady Warriors, put the Lady Trojans on the short end of a 59-46 score.
“From start to finish, it was probably the most complete game to where we had effort all night,” Lady Trojan Head Coach Bruce Marshall said. “We executed from beginning to end a lot better. We still had some lows but that’s one thing that happens when playing a team like Central.
“We have to get to that level to where we’re able to execute like that for 32 minutes,” he added. “It’s going to make us so much better down the road. We’re definitely heading in the right direction.”
The Lady Trojans’ roster features all underclassmen except for senior Kendra Richardson. And it was the senior guard who kept the Lady Trojans step for step with the Lady Warriors.
After Central jumped out to a 7-2 lead Dec. 10 in the William Osteen Gymnasium, Richardson made a bank shot that got Millington jump started. Later in the opening quarter Richardson nailed a jumper to make the score 9-7 in favor of the Lady Warriors.
The Lady Trojans stayed close with another Richardson jump shot and a three-pointer from Bria Barnes that made the score 15-12. Central led 17-12 after the first quarter.
“I’m really proud of Kendra,” Marshall said. “She’s been tremendous for us this year. She’s not getting upset when the younger kids make mistakes. As long as they’re aggressive and trying to do the right things. She’s been doing a good job of trying to stay positive.
“She’s really stepped her game up,” he continued. “The first couple of games, she was getting 8 or 10 points. The last six ball games she’s been double figures in scoring and she’s getting 10 or 11 boards a night. She’s doing everything she can to help these young players grow as players.”
Those young players helped Richardson in the second quarter to keep Millington within striking distance. The Lady Warriors used a quick run with a layup from standout Tia Wooten to build a 21-12 advantage.
Lady Trojan Glenda Garner stopped the Central momentum with a put-back bucket. Richardson used her defense to create transition baskets. Her second steal and layup made the score 23-18. A Garner foul shot trimmed the deficit to 23-19.
Central got a little breathing room when Wooten used a spin move in the post for a layup to make the tally 27-20.
Millington’s final basket of the first half came when Marquisha Sanders made a steal and drove to the rim for a layup. Wooten ended the second quarter with a jumper to make the halftime score 29-22.
Central outscored Millington 16-11 in the third quarter to maintain its advantage. After Sanders drained a three-pointer early in the period, the Lady Warriors made an effort to feed Wooten in the post. The forward dominated with buckets in the paint with one basket leading to a three-point play. The Lady Warriors were ahead 45-33 entering the fourth quarter.
Millington kept pace with Central in the fourth quarter only being outscored 14-13. But going back and forth allowed the Lady Warriors to nurse their lead toward a victory.
“The biggest thing is just the execution for the entire 32 minutes,” Marshall conclued. “We were a little slow coming out of the block giving them a little lead. Coming out from the half, we were still a little hestitent. It’s like we need the first 3 or 4 minutes to get warmed up again. We’ve just got to execute better. That’s the whole thing.’

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