Summer is the perfect time to start reflecting on the 2014-15 TSSAA sports year. The Millington Star Sports Department has been all over the place watching some of the best talent from August to May. Championship were won and awards were given out. Now it is time for The Genuine Article to look back at the Who’s Who of the Class 2015, the best in food and the best moments with the Best Sellers’ List.
12. Best Season Ever
-Since Russ Jones has inherited the Brighton Middle School Lady Cardinal Basketball program, he has experienced championship success.
Behind the talents of players like Danielle Collins, Aubree Jones, Makayla Rose, Lamia Udley, Currie McIntyre and Gabby Crawford, Jones has guided Brighton to championships and Sectional appearances since 2012.
But this past season had similar results with a little something extra special. The 2014-15 BMS Lady Cardinals went 17-0 in the regular season, the first time in school history setting the consecutive wins in a row record. Brighton was 18-0 before losing in a thriller 32-27 to rival Crestview in the WTAC Regional finals. The Lady Cardinals reached Sectionals again and the Hickory Ridge squad out of Memphis were able to pull away from the Brighton late to win 43-32. Despite those last two outcomes, Jones said this year’s Brighton team is among the best of all-time in the school’s history. Many didn’t expect his team to set all the records after losing talent like Crawford, Udley and McIntyre.
“I really thought we had a chance to be really good again,” Jones said. “I knew we were going to have a lot of speed. I knew we were going to have to change from what we did last year of pounding it down low to Gabby and Lamia. We were all about, you remember Nolen Richardson’s “40-Minutes of Hell?” We were 24-Minutes of Hell. It was up-tempo and speeding the game up.”
11. First and 78
-Turnovers, miscues, penalties and missed opportunities plagued both the Millington Trojans and Brighton Cardinals in late August on Mooney Boswell Field.
The Trojans endured a majority of their woes in the first half, meanwhile the Cardinals suffered from costly errors during crunch time to fall 20-7. The defeat dropped Brighton to 1-1 and Millington improved to 2-0 on the season.
The yellow flags stole the show late in the game when the Cardinals faced a first down and 78 yards to go in the fourth quarter because of several penalty calls. On fourth down and 74 to go, Brighton punted the ball and the Trojans fumbled near midfield with the Cardinals recovering.
10. Flying to the top
-The Munford Lady Cougars set up the trilogy by beating Dyer County last Tuesday in the District 13-3A Soccer Tournament Semifinal.
The victory set up third match up October 16 between Munford and Brighton. The Lady Cardinals, regular-season champions of the district, played host to their rivals at the Brighton Stadium.
In the previous two games, the first ended in a deadlock and the Lady Cardinals won 4-2 to earn the No. 1 seed. Kyle Selby’s Lady Cougars came ready to get their first win over Brighton in 2014.
But the physical play limited both team scoreless until a Lady Cardinal goal from Holly Maddox with 34 minutes and 58 seconds remaining.
9. Young Rebel on par
-The 2014 Tipton-Rosemark Academy Rebel Golf team was busy this past season breaking records.
The final piece to fall in this standout season was the best finish for an individual Rebel golfer at State. On Oct. 6-7, TRA eighth-grader Luke Smith traveled up to Manchester to play the Willow Brook Golf Club course in the Division II-A State Golf Championships.
Smith shot a personal best 76 and 74 in the two days to finish third overall.
“My goal was to get in the top 10,” Smith admitted. “I thought I could get maybe eighth or ninth place. Maybe just below that 10 mark, to get third is pretty awesome.”
8. Butler to the rescue
-The Wooddale Cardinals were the victims of a last-second shot Dec. 29 in the Munford Gymnasium during day two action of the 2014 Munford Christmas Classic.
The first suspect to come to mind on the list of Brighton Cardinals would be freshman standout Taelyr Gatlin. But he was sidelined with a knee injury for the 58-56 Brighton victory. Next on the list of possible Wooddale assassins are Terrlwayne White and Tramaine Cooper.
Despite the duo combining for 30 points in the win, it wasn’t White or Cooper who hit the game winning shot. The man who did-in the Cardinals from Memphis was Colby Butler with a little help from his partner in crime Shawn Davis.
With less than 7 seconds remaining in overtime and the game tied at 56-56, Wooddale tried to inbound the ball from at half court. Davis was able to tip the ball causing the steal. The ball ended up in the hands of Butler.
“It’s my first (game-winner) ever,” Butler said. “I knew not to do a layup because they were going to block it, that’s what I thought. I’d just missed a layup. So I pumped fake and hit the shot. It went through.”
Butler’s shot went into the net with 0.8 remaining on the clock. Wooddale’s last effort ended in a long pass intercepted by Brighton.
7. Dante’s Inferno
-With the Millington Trojans taking on the Kingsbury Falcons in a District 14-3A contest in Memphis, the backfield Head Coach Chris Michael employed in Week 1 was in jeopardy of now appearing.
Sidelined already was starting running back Keno Taylor with an ACL injury from the Bartlett game two weeks ago. The following week against MBA, his replacement D’Monte Kemp went out with a broken ankle.
In that same contest, quarterback Tyms suffered a high ankle sprang. Not practicing all week, Tyms played just three plays against Kingsbury. To the rescue was senior linebacker/full back Dante Pitts.
Michael and offensive coordinator Clint Adair made the decision to use Pitts primarily in the second half. With 2 minutes and 52 seconds left in the third quarter Pitts finally found the end zone on a short run to make the score 7-0.
Just before the final horn of the third quarter, the Trojans got a break on special teams when Kingsbury had problems with the snap on a punt attempt.
Millington had the ball on the 26 yard line and handed the ball to Pitts. With time expired Pitts crossed the goal line to make the score 14-0.
6. Luke… I am your kicker
-LAWRENCEBURG — The Millington Trojans made the three and half hour trip to Lawrence County and left Middle Tennessee with a 16-13 victory.
Less than 3 minutes later Lawrence County tied the game at 13-13 with a 71-yard touchdown run. With 5 minutes and 44 second remaining in the fourth quarter, Tyms marched the Trojans down deep into Wildcat territory.
The stage was set for senior place kicker Luke Bell to win the game with a 22-yard field goal try. Bell nailed the kick and gave Millington a 16-13 lead.
The Trojan defense close out the game when cornerback Marcus Winston knocked down a Lawrence County pass on fourth down. Millington will advance to play Henry County in Paris.
5. Dunk of the Year
-ARLINGTON — The shots were falling for both the Millington Trojans and Bartlett Panthers Friday night in the Arlington Gymnasium.
The opening round District 14-3A Basketball Tournament contest was tied at 10-10 midway in the first quarter. The Panthers then were ahead 18-12 after 8 minutes.
The Trojans trimmed the Bartlett advantage to 18-16 before an avalanche of Panther jumpers fell into the net. Meanwhile the Trojans hit a drought leading to a 79-67 victory for Bartlett.The highlight of the night came from Trojan junior Kelvin Jones in the second half. The forward took to the air for a one-hand power slam over a Bartlett defender sending the Arlington Gymnasium crowd into a frenzy.
Despite that moment, the Panthers were ones celebrating advancing to the semifinals and earning a spot in this week’s Region 7-3A Tournament.
4. Daughtry Drainin’em
-In one of the best offensive performances in Millington Central High School history, Trojan senior guard Julian Daughtry went off for 43 points tonight against the Arlington Tigers.
But the outburst of points wasn’t enough to help the Trojans beat Arlington. The Tigers outlasted Millington 70-66.
Daughtry was hot the entire night in the William Osteen Gymnasium scoring in a variety of ways. He hit floaters and drove to the rim. He hit mid-range jumpers and stop-and-pop shots. Then the senior guard heated up from behind the arch hitting several three-pointers.
Daughtry’s performance ranks behind Trojan Elvin Taylor who set the Millington single game record against Tipton-Rosemark Academy with 47 points. In the Lady Trojans’ record book is Jasmine Newsome with 44 points against Briarcrest.
3. Fulcher in the K Zone
-On March 23, the Munford Cougars led by Head Coach Jake Garbuzinski made the trip to Flag City to take on Adams’ Millington Trojans.
The home debut for Adams as skipper of his alma mater started well with his team trailing only 1-0 after three innings. Then the Cougars outscored Millington 8-2 over the last four innings to prevail 9-2.
Coach Garbo’s club took advantage of Millington miscues in the field and aggressive base running to piece together rallies for the victory.
“We’ve been in a little bit of a slump,” he noted. “So we tried to hit-and-run, steal a couple of bases, do that kind of stuff while putting the ball into play. We wanted to put pressure on the other team. But against it all comes done to us doing the fundamental things right and getting those right.”
The fundamentals of pitching were executed by Munford’s ace Joseph Fulcher throughout the night. The hurler went six-plus innings giving up one hit while striking out 14 Trojans.
-Munford Cougar senior ace Joe Fulcher threw a no-hitter to open the District 13-3A Baseball Tournament against Hardin County in Brighton. Fulcher struck out 10 Tigers. Munford was able to beat Hardin County 2-0 behind Steven Kendrick hitting a two RBI double in top of the seventh inning to finally break a scoreless tie. The Cougars advanced to the championship earning a spot in the upcoming Region 7-3A Tournament. The Dyer County Choctaws were able to pull out a 12-11 victory in extra innings Tuesday night to earn the district title.
2. Champion Lady Rebels
-MEMPHIS — The nerves settled and it was time for the ideal end to a magical 2014-15 campaign for the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Lady Rebels sixth-grade team.
For two and half quarters, the Lady Rebels’ shots were either too long or coming up short in the February contest. And TRA trailed 5-4 at halftime to the St. George’s Lady Gryphons. But midway in the third quarter, Lady Rebel Jordan Allen hit a shot in the post that sparked a 8-0 run to close out the period.
The rally helped TRA pull away for a 16-9 victory, 23-1 record overall and the Shelby Tournament Championship.
“It has been a very special season,” TRA Head Coach Brandi Thornell said. “It feels really, really good because I’ve been coaching some of them since they were 4 years old or Kindergarten. This is the first time we’ve actually played in a tournament.
“When you play elementary ball, you don’t get a trophy or to go to a tournament at the end,” she continued. “So this the first time, fifth and sixth grades we got to go to a tournament. To win it all is fantastic.”
1. Very Easy for Van Emelen
-On a field full of Trojans, one stood tallest April 19 at Miles Park in Millington.
Millington Trojan senior Lucas Van Emelen helped his team defeat the Northpoint Christian Trojans 14-1 hitting for the cycle driving in 6 RBIs.
The historic moment of completing the cycle came in the fourth inning with two runners on base. Van Emelen crushed a Northpoint offering 375 feet over the left-centerfield wall to add to his single, double and triple that already drove in three runs.
“It was amazing,” Van Emelen said. “I don’t know how to explain it honestly. I felt amazing when I hit that home run. Coach said it’s probably one of the hardest things to do in baseball. People play their whole lives and are never able to do it.”
The Trojans jumped out 3-0 after one inning and added a run in the second inning. Then Millington exploded for 6 runs in the third inning with several players contributing.