Sweet Reunion: Nichols Homecoming results in a grand debut for his Lady Trojans

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By Thomas Sellers Jr.

MEMPHIS — Hugs and handshakes were just par for the course Nov. 15 when Jason Nichols returned to his old stomping grounds.

Now the head coach of the Millington Lady Trojans, Nichols sharpened his athletic future in the performance facilities of Trezevant High School. Highly anticipating his return, those still associated with the purple and gold gave Nichols some good-natured trash talk about his Lady Trojans taking on their Lady Bears. 

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As the 2021-22 season opening tipoff approached, the smiles, well-wishes and warm greetings disappeared. It was time for Nichols to unleash his quartet of guards Micaiah Halliburton, Jontavia Bonner, Kayla Dotson and Keria McGhee on the Lady Bears. 

With a steady rotation in the middle, Millington dominated the contest to prevail 68-13. 

“It was great, truly great,” Nichols said of his homecoming. “We’ve got the Wall of Fame that I am a part of. It’s just amazing. I have to give all praise to God. Now I am a second year head coach and I get an opportunity to come back to my alma mater and my girls play. 

“We’re performing but we’re just missing… if I can just get that one more link in,” he acknowledged. “The sky’s the limit for us. I prepared us by taking the football pads yesterday and shoving us because I knew what we were going to encounter, that physicality.”

The Lady Bears had to endure the Millington full-court pressure. But the Trezevant players brought a full-contact approach to the Lady Trojans heading to the rim. 

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Millington’s first basket of the season came courtesy of a McGhee Euro-step move for a layup. That play sparked a 41-2 run throughout the first half. 

As Dotson facilitated the Millington offense players like Savannah Spearman, Ayanna Ransom, Aubrey Young, Madison Turner, Breanna Hulsey and starter Makenzie Chambers got a chance to gain experience in the rotation. 

In the second quarter the senior trio of Spearman, McGhee and Halliburton scored three baskets in a row to make the score 37-2. With 2 minutes and 30 seconds remaining in the first half, Trezevant finally ended its drought with a bucket to make the score 41-4. 

Down the stretch and until the final horn, Millington outscored the Lady Bears 27-9 to win the season-opener convincingly. 

Nichols said the game against his alma mater is the beginning of his squad seeing a variety of styles to prepare for a possible trip in March to Murfreesboro.

“That’s why we got the schedule that we’ve got,” he noted. “We’re playing in the Martin Luther King Jr. Tournament. We’re in the tournament at Bartlett, the tournament at DeSoto Central. I am preparing us to be able to handle that. We’re going up to Dyer County and see different types of basketball. We were preparing to get to the Glass House if God says the same. I have four senior guards and we’ll go as they go.” 

The victory was the icing on the welcome back home cake for Nichols to start the 2021-22 campaign.

“Overall it feels good to come back to my alma mater, all my friends, family and fans,” he concluded. “I am just overwhelmed. Great way to start our season.” 

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