By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Since the dawn of basketball, one of the most precious commodities in the game is playing time.
And it appeared that item was being taken for granted by some of the Millington Trojans last week in the William Osteen Gymnasium. The Trojans welcomed the Christian Brothers Purple Wave to town Dec. 10 and Millington had its best output in the first quarter with 14 points. Then the Trojans were outscored 49-30 over the next three quarters leading to a 65-44 defeat.
“Lackadaisical, they acted like they didn’t want to play basketball tonight,” Millington Head Coach Rob Sabau acknowledged. “We looked like we haven’t practiced. We didn’t do anything we prepared for to take away their post game. We just didn’t play hard. We took the night off. That’s not going to happen again, I can guarantee that.”
After the game Sabau challenged his whole team to earn time on the floor. The veteran coach cited the play of senior Devynn Brandon and junior Demarius Curry as examples of the effort needed each night to win.
“Devynn Brandon played with a lot of energy,” he noted. “Demarius Curry played with a lot of energy. There is motivation, it’s called playing time. So we’ll see what kind of metal they’ve all got.”
Sabau’s loudest challenge was to experienced corps. of Jordan Browning, Roddarius Pitts and Julian Daughtry. He said the trio dictates the spirit and morale of the entire team.
The Millington “Big Three” were sluggish at the start of the Christian Brothers game with the Trojans falling behind 14-8. Then Brandon entered the game giving the Trojans a spark.
The senior guard/forward used pressure on the defensive end to lead to baskets. Brandon made a pair of layups to make the score 16-12.
Brandon’s effort rubbed off on Pitts. The senior made a steal of his own and scored on a fast-break layup to make the score 16-14 in favor of the Purple Wave after one quarter.
Christian Brothers used an 8-0 run to start the second quarter. Browning ended Millington’s drought with a long three-pointer to make the score 24-17. The Purple Wave outscored Millington 10-7 the remainder of the first half to lead by 10 points at the break. Millington had a glimmer of hope to start the third quarter when Brandon made a steal and drove to the basket for a layup to make the score 34-26. Then the Purple Wave drowned the Trojans grabbing a double-digit advantage the rest of the game. Christian Brothers led 48-34 after the third quarter. And by the end of the contest the Purple Waves were victors by 21 points.