By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Fayette-Ware Lady Wildcats and Millington Lady Trojans contest Friday night was a nail-bitter for 24 minutes.
But TSSAA varsity basketball games are 32 minutes long. And for one period the Lady Wildcats outscored Millington 18-10.
“The third quarter got us,” Millington Head Coach Bruce Marshall said.
The game was 19-15 at the break in favor of Fayette-Ware. Then the Lady Wildcats dominated the third period to jump ahead 37-25. Fayette-Ware matched the Lady Trojans shot for shot in the fourth period to prevail 47-34.
“We talk about the other teams all the time,” Marshall said. “I think they’re starting to really understand right now we’ve got a great chance to be successful in the league. We get to see the other players and now they’ll be aware what they will see the second time around. Their confidence level is getting higher.”
The Lady Trojans have seen the progression of players like Alexis Jordan and Sky Clark throughout the season. Against Fayette-Ware Clark went down in the first quarter with a foot injury. Marshall said losing the combo-forward was a big hit to his rotation.
Players like Micaiah Halliburton and JonTavia Bonner picked up the slack against Fayette-Ware in Clark’s absence. The freshmen duo has been maturing with every minute on the court.
Along with senior leadership from Taylor Payne and Kiara Kemp, Millington had seen guidance from junior forward Jamiya Turner. She poured in 9 points in the first half including a three-point play.
“Jamiya has slowly stepped up here toward the end of the season, starting to step up to be a leader,” Marshall said. “She’s not scared to take care of the basketball and get people in the right spots sometimes. She’s almost like a point-post player.
“She’s making sure we’re getting in the spots we’re supposed to be,” he added. “Taylor and Kiara keep getting us good minutes and getting good shots. We’ve just got to learn how to finish. We leave a lot of points out there every night.”