By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Things were going well for the Millington Lady Trojans last week, until a missed layup here and a thrown away pass there transformed a close game into a comfortable 43-26 advantage for the Bolton Lady Wildcats by the end of the third quarter.
When the buzzer sounded in the Bolton Gymnasium on Jan. 14, the Lady Wildcats were owners of a 50-33 victory over Dist. 14-3A rival Millington.
“Coming into the third quarter, we seem to come out a little less focused than we should,” Millington Head Coach Bruce Marshall acknowledged. “We missed a wide-open layup right off the bat. You have to make those baskets. We make four or five turnovers. Then they go on a run. That was the difference in the ball game.”
Marshall’s Lady Trojans only trailed 12-11 after one quarter. Millington was ahead 5-2 in the opening moments after a Kendra Richardson jumper and Lindsey Harris three-pointer.
Bolton senior Kayla Bolden drained a triple of her own to tie the game at 5-5.
Bolden gave her time the lead 7-5 when she located teammate Kerrice Waston for a layup. Lady Wildcat Samaria Grandberry nailed a three-pointer making the tally 10-5.
Richardson ended Millington’s dry spell with another jumper. After Bolton’s Heaven Thompson scored a bucket, Millington’s Keyona Johnson hit a three-pointer to make the score 12-10.
Marquisha Sanders’ free throw concluded the scoring for the first quarter and Millington was only down a point.
Millington’s offense slowed down some in the second quarter only scoring on four free throws courtesy of Richardson, Sanders and Tamia Aldridge. But the Lady Trojans neutralized Bolton, holding them to 10 points to trail 22-15 at the break.
Then came a missed layup for the Lady Trojans. Moments later, Millington had miscues leading to a 11-3 Bolton run.
The Lady Wildcats were ahead 36-20 when Johnson hit a three-pointer to slow down Bolton’s momentum. Despite another triple from Johnson, the Lady Wildcats were ahead 17 points entering the fourth quarter.
Millington’s defense regrouped in the fourth quarter holding Bolton to seven points. But the Lady Trojans could only match the Lady Wildcats output in the period.
“We are extremely young,” Marshall concluded. “I have to get onto them but then I have to turn right back around and tell them, ‘We’re getting the right looks. We’re getting the shots we want most of the time. We’ve got to be better at converting them.’”