By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Millington Lady Trojans let one slip away Jan. 5 at home against the Liberty Lady Crusaders.
After suffering a 50-44 defeat to their new district opponent, Millington welcomed another fresh foe to the William Osteen Gymnasium Friday night in the Ripley Lady Tigers.
Trailing 13-12 at the break to Ripley, the Lady Trojans were not about to allow another game fall into the loss category. Behind the duo of Tamia Aldridge and Glenda Garner in the post, Millington pulled away for a 45-36 victory.
“We’re getting better,” Millington Head Coach Bruce Marshall said. “Our effort as a team has been a lot better the last couple of ball games. The first half tonight, we missed layups. We were 0-6 from the free throw line. We were getting everything we wanted to get. We just weren’t making any shots.”
Millington missed so many shots only tallying 4 points in the first quarter. The Lady Tigers held the lead throughout the second quarter ahead 13-8 at one point. The Lady Trojans got aggressive and closed out the first half with the final four points.
“In the third quarter, we just kept attacking,” Marshall recalled. “That was our game plan. In the second half we picked up the tempo a little bit with the press and our size. It helped us get that lead and it kind of got us energized because the pace was too slow.”
Garner got the Lady Trojans rolling with two quick buckets to make the score 21-17 in favor of Millington. Then junior forward Tamia Aldridge took over the game using her dribbling skills to get to the rim. Aldridge score three times penetrating to the basket making the score 27-20 late in the third.
After Aldridge canned a pair of free throws, Millington was ahead 29-20 heading into the fourth quarter.
“Both our post players, we rely on them a lot,” Marshall said. “Percentagewise, they’re probably our leading scorers on the team. We’ve got two really good post players. After this year, we’re not going to have two really good post players down there.
“So we’ve got to take advantage of it,” he added. “The girls have gotten a lot better of trying to get the ball down in there. We’ve just got to do a better job of executing our passing and be able to get it in there.”
Garner executed down the stretch of the Ripley game with a put-back basket and shot in the post making the score 35-26. Millington guard Marquisha Sanders put the finishing touches on the game with a drive to the rim and three-pointer.
Millington earned its first victory in District 15-2A play with the 9-point decision. Now Millington is in the middle of “Jackson Week” taking on Jackson North Side and Jackson Central Merry this week.
“We’ve just got to our and execute,” Marshall concluded. “We want to get a higher seed. We haven’t been to the Regionals in three years and we need to make life as easy as possible for us as we can.”