By Thomas Sellers Jr.
A veteran coach like Michael Moore knows almost doesn’t count in basketball.
During the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Rebels last few games of 2016 in Lewisburg, Miss., Moore’s Rebels were competitive in all three tournament games. But TRA returned to the Volunteer State with a 1-2 record during the Lewisburg Tournament.
Entering 2017, the Rebels were looking to start the New Year in a positive way taking on the Westminister Defenders in the TRA Gymnasium.
The Jan. 3 contest was all Rebels with TRA prevailing 61-32 behind balance scoring and solid defense.
“We’re learning,” Moore said. “The very first time I talked to you back in October and November, I said it’s going to be a process. We’re getting there.”
Part of TRA process has been incorporating new players, allowing players to recover from injuries and adjusting to new line ups.
The Rebel lineup against Westminister appeared to be functioning fine jumping out to a 12-0 lead. Carter Weakley nailed a triple to start the run.
By the time Weakley drove to the rim and made a layup, TRA had a double-digit advantage.
Fellow Rebels Howard Gray and Dillon Munn added to the advantage. Gray made a steal leading to a layup and foul. His three-point play made the score 18-2.
Moments later Munn drilled a three-pointer to make the score 21-2. Weakley added a triple making the tally 24-2.
After Gray made another drive in the paint for two, TRA was ahead 26-5 after one quarter.
Westminister managed to score 6 points in the second quarter. Meanwhile TRA added 14 points to its total.
The Rebels scored 19 points in the third quarter including a Sheldon Spence triple to seize total control of the game.
Moore said January will be a month to take on district opponents but also build cohesion among his roster.
“Howard Gray is new,” he concluded. “Things are coming together. We’re building toward February and hopefully March.”