By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Trailing Bolton by as many as 15 points early in the fourth quarter, Millington rallied to make the score 57-52 with 15 seconds left on the clock.
Trojans Head Coach Rob Sabau called a timeout to set his defense. The move paid off when Millington forward Devontae Winston was able to make a steal. But in an effort to find an open three-point shooter, Winston’s pass flew into the hands of a Bolton defender allowing the Wildcats to run out the Bolton Gymnasium clock for a 57-52 victory.
“Missed opportunities and maybe about 20 to 25 turnovers,” were reasons Sabau offered for the defeat. “We don’t turn over the ball so much and we take advantage of our opportunities, I think we win.”
Bolton’s fast-paced offense and defense helped the Wildcats build a 15-5 lead early in the contest. The Wildcats were paced offensively by Nick Brunson and DeAunte Houston.
Then Millington closed out the first quarter on a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to single digits. Trojan guard Jordan Browning got things rolling with a three-pointer. He added a layup and his teammate Roddarius Pitts hit a jumper to make the score 17-12 after 8 minutes.
Both teams put 11 points on the scoreboard in the second quarter. Trojans like Julian Daughtry, Pitts, Winston and Browning matched Wildcats Jaylen Fisher, Raekwon Baker and Houston point for point to make the halftime score 28-23 in favor of Bolton.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats started out with an 11-2 run to build a 39-25 advantage. The highlight of Bolton’s runs was a fast break featuring a laser pass form Houston to Baker. Baker quickly flipped the ball to Trebor Jackson for a layup.
Millington’s drought ended when Pitts scored in the lane. The Trojans were behind 43-31 entering the fourth quarter.
Bolton maintained its double figure lead early in the fourth until Pitts hit a three-pointer to make the score 50-42. The Trojans proceeded with a 10-4 run to make the score 52-49 with a minute remaining.
During Millington’s rally, Trojans like Devynn Brandon, LaKeron Garcia and Browning scored.
But Baker was able to stop the Trojans’ momentum with a layup.
Bolton held off Millington’s late rally to win the district contest by five points.
Sabau said it’s important that his team build confidence over the next couple of weeks before the district tournament is to be played in Millington. The veteran coach said his team will build off the last quarter against Bolton.