By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Official Basketball Association hit the big stage in Millington Saturday night.
The William Osteen Gymnasium was the place for the debut of the Millington Showstoppers. Joining the Showstoppers were their local rivals the Memphis Thunder. Inclement weather outside produced Thunder that shock up those in attendance.
But the Thunder on the court were overwhelmed 163-93 by the Showstoppers making their first home game a success.
“We’re 2-0 now,” Millington Head Coach Anthony Jones said. “Either they play it my way or don’t play. The chemistry is going to be built fast that way.”
The Showstoppers’ inaugural season kicked off March 20 with a 107-97 win over the Music City Kings with Fatodd Lewis leading the way with 36 points and 17 rebounds. Saturday marked the home debut for Millington and a 55-point first quarter determined the outcome of the contest early.
Showstopper guard Calvin Chambers was the facilitator throughout the 48 minutes. Winning a State championship with the Craigmont Chiefs almost 10 years ago, Chambers said the role Coach Jones asked him to fulfill comes natural.
“I’m used to it actually,” he said. “I’ve been preparing myself to be that player so I can take on the challenge.”
Chambers and fellow point guard DeQuel Williams set up teammates like Denori Berry, Tadarious Coburn and Lewis for various layups and dunks in the first period.
After Memphis grabbed a 4-3 lead, Millington proceeded with a 23-3 run with Lewis dropping in 12 points including a windmill jam on a fast break.
Fellow big man Berry joined the dunking fun with a couple of slams in the first quarter. Millington was ahead 44-11 in the first quarter when Jordan Jackson hit a pair of foul shots.
The Showstoppers outscored Memphis 11-10 to close out the opening quarter.
Millington dominated the second quarter with Lewis demonstrating his outside range with a three-pointer to make the tally 60-20. Moments later Chambers was flowing through the Thunder defense like lightning to locate a streaking Berry. Berry threw down his version of Thunder with a slam dunk got make the score 62-20.
Joining the scoring parade in the second quarter for Millington were guards Tyquis Johnson and Milton Nash. Nash drained a three-pointer and Johnson contributed 12 points in the first half. Millington was ahead 97-43 at the break.
Millington continued the pressure defense. In the first half the Showstoppers employed a full court trap.
By the third quarter, Millington guards greeted the Thunder guards pass the half court line to continue the confusion for Memphis.
The Showstoppers outscored Memphis 34-32 in a seesaw battle. Chambers said the key to victory was the time invested prior to the game.
“We’ve been working hard together, building our team chemistry,” he said. “We showed it tonight. It’s been practicing spending more time together in practice. We’ve been learning each other’s game and learning each other’s spots.
Jones said practice will give his team the edge now and hopefully when the title is settled down the line.
“A lot of running, lot of scrimmaging and a lot of learning how to play the game,” he concluded. “We have championship aspirations. We’re going all the way. It’s tough to beat us. My guards are good and my bigs are solid. Anybody who come into Millington is going to get it.”