By Thomas Sellers Jr.
COVINGTON — Maybe the script was going to change this night.
Could this be the time the Millington Lady Trojans come out the locker room with a third-quarter run to keep a contest close? The Covington Lady Chargers wanted to do make sure the trend of Millington having second half collapses continue Jan. 26 in the Covington Gymnasium.
The Lady Chargers overcame an early 13-10 deficit to grab a 23-16 halftime advantage. Then Covington outscored Millington 19-6 in the third quarter leading to a 53-32 win.
“I’m not sure,” a puzzled Bruce Marshall said. “For some reason we come out from halftime we’re just not as focused as we are at the beginning of the game. The girls and I were talking about it after this game.
“Maybe I need to give them a little rest to start the third quarter,” the head coach of the Lady Trojans continued. “Some of them played a lot of minutes. Maybe I need to start playing a different five and then bring that group off the bench. I’m open to any and all suggestions at this point and time.”
The Lady Trojans didn’t need many suggestions in the first quarter. Marshall’s plan of going inside-out was effective.
Millington center Glenda Garner was the early standout with 6 points in the post. When Lady Trojan junior forward Tamia Aldridge located Garner for a layup Millington was ahead 7-6.
Aldridge scored the next 3 points and Marquisha Sanders ended the first quarter with a three-pointer making the scoreboard read 13-10.
Covington started the second quarter on a 8-1 run to take the lead. Aldridge ended Millington’s drought from the field with a bucket to make the score 18-16 in favor of the Lady Chargers.
The Lady Chargers concluded the first half with the final 5 points to lead 23-16.
Then it was time for the moment of truth. The Lady Trojans exited their Covington Gymnasium locker room for the third quarter.
As the period proceeded, the Lady Chargers were ahead 29-19 with 3 minutes and 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Over the final three minutes of the quarter Covington outscored Millington 13-3.
“Tonight we were playing well and we were in the ball game,” Marshall said. “We did get into a little bit of foul trouble but we were still hanging around. Then we come out for the third quarter.
“And just like against Haywood, this game was the exact same thing,” he continued. “We were down 10 points at halftime against Haywood and then we just we’re losing our focus somewhere between halftime and the start of the third quarter.”
The Lady Trojans were more competitive in the fourth quarter scoring 10 points. Garner and teammate Jherika Brown both hit triples in the quarter. The Lady Chargers scored 11 points in the final quarter to win by 21 points.