By Thomas Sellers Jr.
ARLINGTON — Things were going well for the Millington Lady Trojans until a miss layup here and a thrown away pass there.
A close game transformed into a comfortable 43-26 advantage for the Bolton Lady Wildcats by the end of the third quarter. When the buzzer sounded in the Bolton Gymnasium Jan. 14, the Lady Wildcats were owners of a 50-33 victory over District 14-3A rival Millington.
“Coming into the third quarter, we seem to come out a little less focused than we should,” Millington Head Coach Bruce Marshall acknowledged. “Examples of it were we missed a wide-open layup right off the bat. We missed another point-blank shot after we worked our offense to get it to where we wanted to get it.
“You have to make those baskets,” he continued. “We make four or five turnovers. Then they go on a 8 or 9-0 run. That was the difference in the ballgame.”
Marshall’s Lady Trojans only trailed 12-11 after one quarter. Millington was ahead 5-2 in the opening moments after a Kendra Richardson jumper and Lindsey Harris three-pointer.
Bolton senior Kayla Bolden drained a triple of her own to tie the game at 5-5.
Bolden gave her team the lead 7-5 when she located teammate Kerrice Waston for a layup. Lady Wildcat Samaria Grandberry nailed a three-pointer making the tally 10-5.
Richardson ended Millington’s dry spell with another jumper. After Bolton’s Heaven Thompson scored a bucket Millington’s Keyona Johnson hit a three-pointer to make the score 12-10.
Marquisha Sanders’ free throw concluded the scoring for the first quarter and Millington was only down a point.
Millington’s offense slowed down some in the second quarter only scoring on four free throws courtesy of Richardson, Sanders and Tamia Aldridge. But the Lady Trojans neutralized Bolton holding them to 10 points to trail 22-15 at the break.
Then came a missed layup for the Lady Trojans. Moments later Millington had miscues leading to a 11-3 Bolton run.
The Lady Wildcats were ahead 36-20 when Johnson hit a three-pointer to slow down Bolton’s momentum. Despite another triple from Johnson, the Lady Wildcats were ahead 17 points entering the fourth quarter.
Millington’s defense regrouped in the fourth quarter holding Bolton to 7 points. But the Lady Trojans could only match the Lady Wildcats output in the period.
“We are extremely young,” Marshall concluded. “I have to get onto them but then I have to turn right back around and tell them, ‘We’re getting the right looks. We’re getting the shots we want most of the time. We’ve got to be better at converting them.’”