Sunday, March 7, 2010

Commercial Appeals' Sectional Recaps

Overton 51, Millington 49

Jasmine Robinson got enough spark from her Overton teammates to ignite her offense. And just enough defensive help to stop Millington star senior Jasmine Newsome in time for a 51-49 Class AAA sectional victory Saturday at Millington.

"She's (Newsome) a beast when she gets going, and we had to rotate and get people on her," said Robinson, who had 17 of her 26 points in the second half -- including her team's last 10 in the final period. "But today we showed again, that this team isn't about just me."

It was the second straight year the Region 8 runner-up Wolverines (29-3) scored a road sectional victory over the Region 7 champion Trojans (33-3).

"This time we're coming home with the (golden) ball," said Alabama signee Robinson, whose team lost in the state semifinals last year to eventual champion Nashville Hillsboro.

Senior forward Orlandria Williams stepped up with 10 of her 12 points in the third period, and Robinson scored Overton's other seven to close a 31-22 halftime gap to 42-39.

"That forced them to think about other people, and that created space for me," Robinson said.

The Wolverines shut out Millington for the first 5 1/2 minutes of the final quarter to take a 49-42 lead on eight straight Robinson points.

Robinson added two free throws with 1:15 left to make it 51-46, countering back-to-back baskets by Millington sophomore Jasmine Prophet. But Newsome, a UT-Martin signee, stepped up with a driving off-balance basket and a foul with 36 seconds left. She hit the free throw, cutting the deficit to two and giving her 25 for the game.

Overton missed two one-and-one free throw tries -- the last by Robinson with 12.7 seconds left. But Robinson stole a Newsome pass in the lane to snuff out one Millington possession. And with three seconds left, Newsome threw a wild pass that effectively killed any attempt at a final shot.

"It hurts, because we had such a good season," said Millington coach Stan Gatlin, whose team reached the 2008 state final. "But we started watching, instead of executing, and made some bad decisions."

Central 59, Jackson North Side 56: The Lady Warriors trailed the Lady Indians, 19-13, after one quarter of play in Saturday's Class AAA sectional at Central, but rallied to win behind 22 points from sophomore Danielle Ballard.

Central (25-3) earned a spot in this week's state tournament in Murfreesboro. The Lady Warriors were the 2009 state runners-up.

Freshman Nina Davis added 15 and sophomore Aaliyah Whiteside chipped in with 12.

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