By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The night appeared to start off well for the Millington Trojans against their rivals the Brighton Cardinals.
Millington put up 16 points on the William Osteen Gymnasium scoreboard in the first quarter to lead by two points. But two points was the Trojans’ total in the second quarter putting Millington behind 26-18 at halftime. The Trojans fell behind by as much as 9 points in the second half before using timely shooting to prevail 50-48.
“We did not play very well in the first half,” Millington Head Coach Rob Sabau acknowledged. “That might have been our worst half of basketball so far. Only 18 points and just two in the second quarter, we were finishing plays or making smart decisions. In the second half we had a lot of that, too. We tie the game and come down and make three really bad decisions in a row.”
Millington guard Julian Daughtry located fellow senior Chris Anderson with a pass leading to a layup to tie the game at 30-30 in the third quarter.
Then Brighton Head Coach Stan Gatlin’s Cardinals responded with a 9-0 run starting with a Terrellwayne White tip. Then Cardinal Colby Butler drained a three-pointer and made a layup to make the score 37-30. White finished the run with another lay-in.
With time running down and trailing 39-30, the Trojans raced the ball down the court locating Cameron Crawford. He launched a three-pointer that hit nothing but net and cut the deficit to 39-33 entering the fourth quarter.
“It was big because it cut it from 9 to 6,” Sabau said. “It becomes just a two possession game. You get a little momentum.”
Crawford opened the fourth quarter with another triple to make the score 39-36. Daughtry tied the game at 39-39 with a three-pointer.
Brighton raced ahead 45-39 with White hitting two foul shots and his teammate Tramaine Cooper making a layup. Cooper added a pair of free throws to make the advantage 6 points.
Daughtry sparked Millington’s final rally of the night with 2 of his game-high 22 points. After Daughtry made the score 45-43 with a put-back bucket, Crawford hit his third triple of the half giving the Trojans a 46-45 advantage.
Millington outscored Brighton 4-3 down the stretch of the final minute and 32 seconds to win the game. The victory improved the Trojans to 4-3 overall.
“We’ve lost three games and only one we’ve been beaten,” Sabau concluded. “We beat ourselves the other two times. If we can learn how not to beat ourselves, we’ll be a dangerous team.”