By Thomas Sellers Jr.
EADS — The first 8 minutes for the Millington Lady Trojans at Briarcrest was forgetful.
And in the second quarter, Bruce Marshall’s bunch did a good job of erasing that woeful 14-2 start outscoring the host Lady Saints 15-9 in the second quarter to make the Rowell Arena scoreboard read 23-17 in favor of Briarcrest at the break.
But the next 8 minutes of the game doomed Millington as the Lady Trojans were endured a scoreless third quarter leading to a 59-19 defeat.
“I don’t think we came out with the focus like we had there in the second quarter when we actually played some pretty good basketball,” Marshall said. “It gave us a chance in the ball game. Just like last night in Arlington, we came out and throw the ball. The ball goes right through our hands, hits us in the chest and goes right out of bounds. We didn’t come out focused to keep doing the things that we were doing in the first half.”
Coming off a District 14-3A loss at the Arlington Lady Tigers Friday night, Millington traveled to Briarcrest the following night and fell behind 7-0. Lady Trojan senior Kendra Richardson ended her team’s drought with a jumper.
The Lady Saints used a balanced attack to take a 12-point lead heading into the second quarter. Briarcrest players like Jasmine Cincore, Brynn Holden, Kathryn Newman and Gabby Saliza all reached the scoring column in the first quarter.
The names in the scoring column for the Lady Trojans increased in the second quarter. Millington went on a 10-3 run to start the period.
Lady Trojan forward Tamia Aldridge got things rolling with a pair of free throws. Richardson drained an NBA-range three pointer to make the score 14-7.
Then Lady Trojan Jherika Brown drove to the rim and drew a foul for a three-point play. After a Holden triple made the score 17-10, Lady Trojan guard Lindsey Harris located Aldridge in the paint for a layup to draw Millington within 5 points.
Aldridge and her teammate Tayunna Hickerson added two more field goals for Millington making the halftime score 23-17.
But the third quarter belonged to the Lady Saints. Briarcrest outscored Millington 20-0 in the frame lead by Cincore scoring inside and outside.
“Briarcrest really didn’t do anything much different,” Marshall noted. “They didn’t really start pressing. We talked about it at halftime that they would probably be pressing to make us try to handle the ball with somebody besides Kendra.”
Marshall said despite the defeat, he saw progress with his younger players not depending on Richardson for everything. On the other hand, Marshall said the last three minutes of the game brought a lack of intesity for his players for the first time all season.
The Lady Trojans also worked on a new defense for the first time all season, the match-up zone.
Working with a new defense and how to compliment Richardson within the flow of the offense, Marshall said his players have to learn how to keep their focus for 32 minutes.
“It’s more a mental thing,” he said. “We haven’t been really good at starting ball games a lot of the time. They’ve just got to understand when we come out from a halftime or at the beginning of a ball game, that we have to be ready to play right now.
“We don’t have time to get warmed up the first three minutes of the quarter,” Marshall concluded. “That could be the difference in the ball game.”