By Thomas Sellers Jr.
On the eve of the district tournament, the Millington Trojans had to take care of the business of Senior Night for Kolby Hollowell, Kelvin Jones, Prensten Macon, Kip Fleming, Johnathan Joyner and Aaron Peerey.
The Memphis Metro Mustangs were the opponent standing in the way of an ideal end to the regular-season home careers of the six Trojans. Friday night in the William Osteen Gymnasium. Rob Sabau’s bunch held the lead most of the night when the Mustangs trimmed the deficit to a single point.
The senior duo of Hollowell and Jones closed out the game with foul shots to help the Trojans prevail 56-51.
“Wins always build confidence,” Sabau said after the game. “And it’s been a tough couple of weeks for us. We haven’t been playing well and we’ve had some adversity around the program. A win does a lot to heal and make them forget about some of those tough losses. It’s good to get that win to go into that district game with confidence.”
Millington trailed 14-12 heading into the second quarter. The Trojans outscored the Mustangs 16-9 in that period to take a 28-23 advantage into the locker room.
The Millington lead grew to 44-37 heading into the fourth quarter. The Trojans tried to cruise to victory including a Jones one-hand slam midway through the final quarter.
Then Memphis Metro rallied to make the scoreboard read 50-49 in favor of Millington. The Trojans’ first clutch play came from sophomore forward Justin Austin with a hook shot in the lane.
Ahead 52-49, Millington put the ball into the hands of seniors Hollowell and Jones knowing the Mustangs will try to foul.
The duo made 4 of 6 free throws to ice the game. When Millington left the court victors, the coaching staff was left in limbo about who the next opponent would be to open the district tournament.
The Trojans had three possible opponents, either Ripley, Haywood or Liberty Tech. Sabau said no matter who was on the other side, his team has to play with complete focus.
“The kids just have to leave it all on the floor,” he concluded. “If they don’t come out and play every position like it’s their last… it’s going to be their last. And I would hope the seniors would have that sense of urgency They’ve got to play every position like it’s their last because its possibly is.”