Categorized | Sports

Despite Trojans solid showing, Eagles leave court as victors

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

Millington guards Andrew Banks and Demarius Curry try to gain control of the ball during second quarter action at St. Benedict. The Trojans dropped a nail-bitter to the Eagles 61-60 on Nov. 25.

Millington guards Andrew Banks and Demarius Curry try to gain control of the ball during second quarter action at St. Benedict. The Trojans dropped a nail-bitter to the Eagles 61-60 on Nov. 25.

Trojans Daughtry drive Trojans Demarius Curry to rimCORDOVA — St. Benedict winning numbers for the night of Nov. 26 were 5, 14, 18, 6’5 and 61.
The Eagles’ winning ticket started with senior No. 5 Tyler Currie. The 6-foot, 5-inch power forward grabbed 14 rebounds and scored 18 points against the visiting Millington Trojans.
Rebound No. 14 came in the fourth quarter with less than 6.8 seconds remaining on the St. Benedict Gymnasium scoreboard. As time ticked away toward zero, Currie was able to release a last-ditch shot toward the rim tallying points No. 17 and 18 to give the Eagles the 61-60 victory.
The St. Benedict players and coaches rushed toward Currie at center court to celebrate the win. Meanwhile the Trojans and Head Coach Rob Sabau endured a walk to their locker room dejected and heartbroken.
“We need to feel the pain of losing to a good team on their home floor,” Sabau said, “a game you had in your grasp that you let slip away from something as simple as grabbing a rebound.”
The Trojans were doing all the simple things in the first quarter to build a 26-11 advantage. Millington senior guard Julian Daughtry had the hot hand hitting a couple jumpers.
Trojan Andrew Banks nailed a three-pointer in the early moments of the game to give Millington a 7-2 lead.
Later in the period, Jaterius Bryant had the hot hand for the Trojans using a crossover move drive to the basket for layup and 18-9 advantage. Then Bryant drained a three-pointer and drew a foul for a four-point play.
“They made an adjustment to our offense after the first quarter,” Sabau recalled. “We showed them an adjustment in return. We battled and battled to come back.”
St. Benedict adjustments helped it outscore Millington 24-9 to deadlock the contest at 35-35 at the break. The Eagles were able to use full-court pressure to create turnovers. St. Benedict transformed those extra offensive possessions into three-pointers
Trojan guard Demarius Curry kept Millington in front with layups. Banks made a reverse layup to make the score 35-30 in favor of the Trojans. But St. Benedict scored the final five points of the half to tie things up.
The third quarter started off good for Millington with a Daughtry triple and Banks bucket to make the score 40-35. Then the Eagles closed out the the period on a 13-6 run to lead 49-46 heading into the fourth quarter.
The game became a seesaw affair. St. Benedict grabbed a quick lead and then Millington would take the advantage. The Trojans were ahead 54-53. Then Eagle Trey Davis hit a three-pointer with 2 minutes left to make the score 56-54.
Banks tied the game at 56-56 using an Euro-step move in transition for a layup. Then Curry made a steal leading to a bucket to regain the advantage for the Trojans at 58-56. A pair of Bryant foul shots made the score 60-56 in favor of Millington.
St. Benedict chipped away at the Trojan lead with free throws. At the same time Millington missed three foul shots down the stretch.
With the score 60-59, Daughtry fouled out with a game-high 21 points sending Eagle Joey Magnifico to the line for an one-and-one with 6.8 seconds remaining. Magnifico missed the front end sending the game into chaos.
The Eagles had three chances at the game winning shot with Currie finally making the basket to give St. Benedict the victory.
“All we had to do was grab the ball at the end, but hopefully they’ll learn from this,” Sabau said. “That was a district type game and district type environment with the physicality of league play. They need to you have to man up and finish plays at the end to win games.”
Millington did enough to win with Banks and Curry joining Daughtry with double figures. Banks had 13 points and Curry added 11 points.
“That was probably our best game yet on both ends of the floor,” Sabau noted. “They did a good job on countering our offense there in the second quarter. We did a good job, we want them to push the ball a little bit more and be more aggressive. At the same time we want to teach them what is a good shot and what’s not a good shot.
“They’re starting to pick that up and be a little bit more patient on the offensive end in the half-court sets,” he concluded. “It showed tonight with us scoring more points than we did in the last two games. We scored enough to win. We made enough defensive plays to win. We just didn’t make the play there at the end. A young team has to learn from it, keep your head up and keep fighting.”

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