By Thomas Sellers Jr.
COVINGTON — The Covington Lady Chargers wanted to escort the Millington Lady Trojans down the Covington Gymnasium court the entire night.
Friday Covington’s five players were executing a full-court press to throw the visiting Lady Trojans off and prevent them from setting up their half-court offense. The defense worked and led to the Lady Trojans pulling away for a 53-28 victory.
“If I came and watched this, I would plan on pressing us all night long,” Millington Head Coach Bruce Marshall said. “At times, we’re showing maturity of getting the ball and being patient, working the ball. Tonight when we kept it inside the volleyball court, we didn’t have any trouble getting the ball up the floor. When we started to ablib and trying to out run folks up the sideline, we put ourselves in bad positions.”
Millington was in a good spot in the first quarter led by power forward Tamia Aldridge. The sophomore scored on three-point play to make the score 6-5 with 2 minutes and 4 seconds left in favor of Covington.
The Lady Chargers closed the quarter on a 8-1 run to take a 14-6 advantage into the second quarter. Covington’s lead grew to 19-6 before Aldridge ended Millington’s drought with a layup. Aldridge scored 6 of 8 Lady Trojans points in the period.
In most games this season, Millington will have the size advantage with Aldridge and center Glenda Garner. Earlier this season Garner has been the go-to player and a leading scorer for Millington.
Against Covington, Garner had a sub-par game compared to her typical output.
“The other night Glenda put in 15 and I think she maybe took 9 shots,” Marshall recalled. “And Tamia couldn’t throw it in the ocean. Tonight Tamia was on fire. The problem is I don’t know which one is going to be hot. I need both of them to be hot.
“Everybody knows those are the players who will be scoring most of our points,’ he added. “I’ve got one who is struggling and the other who is doing well, I’m only getting half a piece of cake. I need a whole piece of cake with both of them playing well together.”
Aldridge continued with her sweet game in the second half scoring on a lay-sups and drawing fouls for free throws. But Millington only managed another 14-point output in the second half while Covington tallied 26 to win by 25 points.
The Lady Chargers employed press all night against Millington’s inbounds. Marshall said the game provided his guards a chance to grow under pressure.
“It’s still a maturing process as far as staying positive and working hard,” he said. “They know where to be, they just sometimes forget how to do it, at least on a consistent basis. We’re not at the point as a team to where we can stop it as a team without me calling a timeout. Here lately, I’m making them play through it.
“If they don’t learn to play through it,” Marshall concluded, “I’ve called enough timeouts from last year and this year so far to try to bail them out. They have to keep playing through it and learn to figure it out. That’s going to get them better. There will come a night later down the road, I’m going to need those timeouts in a close ball game the right night for the right reasons.”