By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Moving into a new classification can make a head coach’s job tougher.
Moving from District 14-3A to District 15-2A, Millington Lady Trojans Head Coach Bruce Marshall has been pulling double duty getting his team ready for the 2015-16 season and researching his new league.
Millington compete against the likes of Covington, Ripley, Jackson North Side, Liberty Tech, Jackson Central-Merry and Haywood.
“Haywood, they were in the Sub-State game last year,” Marshall said. “They’ve got size and a sophomore guard that last year as a freshman average 25 a night. They’re legit.
“Covington, even when they may be down by their standards, they are a contender because they play so hard every night,” he added. “They’re going to press you for 32 minutes a night and you have to be able to withstand it.”
Marshall noted JNS played his Lady Trojans in Regionals a few years ago. Ripley is competitive and Liberty and JCM will feature some athletic talent.
As for Millington, Marshall said his team plans to make a trip to Regionals earning one of the top four spots.
“I’ve got a lot of experience,” he said. “This group of seniors with Jherika Brown and Glenda Garner have been here all four years.
“And I have two other seniors back with Keyona Johnson and Tayunna,” Marshall continued. “They both moved back. I’m expecting a lot out of them. With my junior class, Marquisha Sanders, Tamia Aldridge, Traci Clark and Trevona DeSouza, we had a really good Summer with them.”
Marshall said the Lady Trojans are looking for more balance on the offensive end to compliment Glenda Garner.
“Glenda around the bucket has to be big for us this year,” he said. “She needs to be shooting 55, 60 percent within that 8-foot and in range. She’s always had the ability to step out. She’s got that ability.”
With the return of Johnson to the mix, Marshall hopes Millington’s outside shooting will improve. Look for players like Brown, Aldridge and Clark to contribute in that phase of the game.
“I gave them a lot of freedom to play this summer,” Marshall recalled. “We had some good results. There will be times you have to be able to run and set up some stuff. We’ll be able to do that.”
If the offense becomes more balanced along with solid defense, Marshall said the Lady Trojans can make a big impression on their new district foes.
“I think with this group and the new district, we can go in and make some noise,” he said. “Personally I’ll be disappointed if we’re not top 3. We’ve got the people to be able to be in that top three and make a run at the district title.
“Then we can set ourselves up for run in the Regionals,” Marshall concluded. “My personal goal is Sub-State. If you’ve made it to Sub-State, you’ve had a good year. And you give yourselves a chance to get to the Big Show. That’s all you can ask for.”