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Cordova rematch plays out in similar fashion for Millington

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Millington Lady Trojan freshman forward Tamia Aldridge faces a triple-team from Cordova during last week's game in the William Osteen Gymnasium. The Lady Trojans' early lead was erased turning into a Cordova 42-37 victory.

Millington Lady Trojan freshman forward Tamia Aldridge faces a triple-team from Cordova during last week’s game in the William Osteen Gymnasium. The Lady Trojans’ early lead was erased turning into a Cordova 42-37 victory.

LT Brown blocked LT Glenda Garner layup LT Kendra Richardson layup

The Millington Lady Trojans left the Cordova Gymnasium Jan. 17 on the brink of victory but on the wrong end of a two-point difference.
The rematch with their District 14-3A rivals the Cordova Lady Wolves took place Feb. 5 in the William Osteen Gymnasium as part of Millington’s Senior Night. The Lady Trojans led by solo senior Kendra Richardson started off the night on fire building a 17-9 advantage.
But Millington Head Coach Bruce Marshall seen this script before. At Cordova the Lady Trojans came out hot, build a nice lead then saw Cordova rally to prevail 45-43.
The second game played out the same way with the Lady Wolves fighting back to take a late lead and edge Millington 42-37.
“Both times we played them it came down to two of the most fundamental things in basketball, layups and free throws,” Marshall noted. “I don’t know our final percentage, but I think we missed about 20 free throws. We missed several point-blank layups that you’ve got to make.”
Millington was making layups early with sophomore center Glenda Garner tossing two shots off the glass into the net. Richardson made two of three free throws to give the Lady Trojans a 6-0 lead.
After Cordova trimmed the deficit to two, Richardson nailed a jumper to make the score 8-4. Millington was ahead 8-5 entering the second quarter. The Lady Trojans’ lead could have been larger, but Millington missed 7 foul shots in the first quarter.
Despite the woes at the foul line, the Lady Trojans regrouped to start the second quarter on a 9-4 run. Garner got things rolling with another score in the post. Then her teamamte Keyona Johnson drained a three-pointer to make the score 13-7.
Lady Trojan Jherika Brown made one of two foul shots before Johnson hit another trey to make the score 17-9.
Cordova snapped out of its offensive drought closing out the first half on a 9-1 run to deadlock the game at 18-18 at the break.
After Cordova grabbed a quick 20-18 lead in the third quarter, Millington went to its senior to regain the lead. Richardson scored with a jumper, runner in the lane and layup at the rim. Along with a basket by her teammate Tamia Aldridge, the Lady Trojans were ahead 26-24.
Richardson made one foul shot to make the Millington advantage 27-24. When the quarter came to an end the Lady Trojans were ahead 27-26.
In the fourth quarter, Cordova fell behind 31-26 after another Richardson jumper and Garner layup. Then the Lady Wolves outscored Millington 16-6 down the stretch to escape Millington with a victory.
But the Lady Trojans didn’t have time to lament over their second defeat to Cordova. Marshall said he had to get his team refocused to close out the regular season strong before the District 14-3A Tournament starts in Millington this Friday.
“The biggest thing is that we have to keep plugging away and trying to keep getting better in our last two ball games against Kingsbury and Bartlett,” he said.
Marshall said for his team to have success in the district tournament, his players have to get their minds focused on taking care of the basics.
“A lot on the free throw end of it, I think it’s more of a mental thing than a physical thing,” he concluded. “You’ve got to have confidence in yourself when you go to the free throw line. You can’t have those thoughts in your mind. You have to free your mind of any negative thoughts when you’re at the line.”

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