By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The 2012 M&M Bowl ended in a Munford Cougar 29-28 victory over the Millington Trojans.
On Dec. 16, the schools matched up on the hardwood with one less one scored overall than the classic game on the gridiron from two years ago. The Trojans emerged victorious in the Munford Gymnasium 29-27.
“We tried to pick it up and make the pace a little faster,” Millington Head Coach Rob Sabau said. “They do the right things. They have to do that to keep the game close. And they do and they give themselves a chance to win. That’s all you can ask for.”
Butch Hopkins’ young Cougars entered the 2014-15 season with limited varsity basketball experience. The veteran coach has employed his main ball handlers like Queyon Mills, Dominique Bell and Deon Banks to slow down the pace, run a patient offense and use multiple passes per offensive set.
Evidence of Munford’s plan working could be read on the scoreboard after one quarter with the Cougars ahead 4-3. The pace picked up in the second quarter with both teams scoring 8 points. Nigel Jones had the hot hand for Munford with 5 points in the period. Meanwhile Trojan guard Julian Daughtry kept Millington in the game with a couple of buckets to make the halftime score 12-11 in favor of the Cougars.
“We started making a little better decision there in the second half,” Sabau noted. “We boxed out and rebounded better there in the second half.”
The Trojans better play helped them outscore Munford 7-2 in the third quarter to build a 19-14 advantage. Daughtry scored the first bucket for Millington in the period with a layup. Then Daverix Cleaves made a put-back basket to make the score 15-14 in favor of Millington.
Daughtry and teammate Colby Hollowell closed out the scoring for the Trojans in the third period. After an Andrew Banks layup early in the fourth quarter Millington was ahead 21-14.
The Cougars responded with a 8-2 run sparked by a Kendall Christopher jumper in the lane. Jones drained a pair of three-pointers to make the score 23-22 in favor of Millington.
Daughtry made the Trojan advantage three points with a layup. And a Demarius Curry steal leading to layup gave Millington a 27-22 lead.
Despite Munford outscoring the Trojans 5-2 down the stretch, the free throws from Curry and Daughtry was enough for the Millington victory.