The Trojans are only 10-13 overall, but inside league play they are 6-0.
“We had a real rough December, but this team is fun to be around right now,” Millington coach Bruce Marshall said. “They’re playing together, getting off to quick starts, and sharing the ball on offense.”
It was somebody different leading the way on offense each quarter for Millington. Tiara Caldwell, a 6-2 senior bound for UT-Martin, had six of her eight points in the first quarter. Treasure Redding, a 6-3 senior being looked at by CBU and Southwest Tennessee Community College, had eight of her team-high 14 in the second quarter, when Millington stretched the lead to 36-20. Senior guard Seymon Taylor had four points in each quarter of the first half and wound up the night with 10.
Junior point guard Kendra Richardson had six of her 12 in the third quarter, when the lead expanded to 49-30. And senior Erin Clark had six of her 11 in the final 12 minutes. The Trojans used enough high-low post offense, and got just enough outside shooting from the backcourt to prevent Arlington from packing its entire defense around Millington’s post players.
“We’re looking for each other, playing as one right now and that’s how it should be,” Redding said.
Millington also kept up constant defensive pressure against Arlington (12-8, 4-2), which turned the ball over 32 times in the contest.
“We’re young, and still finding our way, but nights like this are tough, especially dealing with a team that has size and experience (like Millington),” said Arlington coach David Offerle, who has just four upper classmen on his roster. The Tigers were led by 18 points from freshman Torrie Sewell, but seven came in the final 90 seconds after Millington cleared its bench.
Richardson said that during the district run, they have made a point of trying to start games at a quicker, more intense tempo. “We get that first big basket and it’s like we remember ‘It’s game time’,” she said.
Marshall, whose team is in the middle of a five-game district road swing, agreed that, “We were starting very slowly through most of December and it made for a tough month.”
He believes the turnaround came Jan. 8 in a home loss to area power Briarcrest.
“They had us down 17 at halftime, and I issued a challenged. I said we could either keep going and lose by 35, or make a game of it,” Marshsall said. “We fought back and got to within a basket, and I think that let our team know what could happen if we played together, with intensity. And they’ve kept it up.”