By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Friday night was almost the time for the breakthrough victory Millington Lady Trojan Head Coach Bruce Marshall has been searching for all district season.
But not at full strength, missing standout sophomore forward Tamia Aldridge,, the Lady Trojans came close to beating District 14-3A foe the Kingsbury Lady Falcons. Kingsbury was able to outlast Millington 47-45 in double overtime.
Marshall was disappointed for his players coming so close to finally pulling off a league victory. But the veteran coach sit in his office optimist because he is hoping the timing for that win will be this weekend at the District 14-3A Girls Basketball Tournament in Arlington.
“Tamia didn’t play due to injury tonight,” he said. “I talked to her yesterday. She was asking me about her playing. I said, ‘That has to be your decision and Shane’s decision and your parents’ decision. I can’t make that decision.’ I told her next Friday is more important than this Friday.”
Marshall wants his squad to be at full strength Feb. 13 when the tournament starts. On Feb. 6 the Lady Trojans were missing a couple parts taking on the Lady Falcons.
Millington managed to build an 8-5 lead after one quarter. The Lady Falcons held the Lady Trojans to a 2 points in the second quarter to have the contest deadlock at 10-10 going into halftime.
Deadlock would become a theme in the contest. After Kingsbury build a 25-20 advantage entering the fourth quarter, Millington got two three-pointers to tie the game at 28-28 by the end of regulation. Jherika Brown hit a triple to make the score 27-23 in favor of Kingsbury.
Trailing 28-25, the Lady Trojans tied the game when Glenda Garner stepped out the paint to hit a trey. Garner pulled off the feat again in overtime to make the score 31-28.
Kingsbury responded with a 7-0 run to take a 35-31 lead. Traci Clark ended the Lady Falcons’ run with a three-pointer.
Behind 37-34, Millington got three clutch free throws from Garner to even the score at 37-37 with a minute and 39 seconds remaining in overtime.
The game was off to a second overtime. Millington jumped ahead 42-37 with a Tasia Bland layup and Garner three-point play. But the Lady Falcons were able to outscore Millington 10-3 down the stretch to earn the victory.
“I’m proud of the way they played,” Marshall said of his squad. “They fought and they fought and they fought. Like we’ve talked so many times before, we’re right there. At least tonight we made plays to continue the game. We just didn’t make the play we needed to, to win the game. We’re right there.”
Other coaches in the league can see the Lady Trojans are close like Arlington leader Hunter Gremore. The Lady Tigers head coach said Millington will be the scariest draw in the tournament.
“We are playing so much better,” Marshall concluded. “If we could ever get that big win to get us jump-started and get us some more confidence, we could be tough to handle in the tournament. I believe that.”