By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The queens of District 15-2A has been the Covington Lady Chargers.
The arriving princesses on the block are the Millington Lady Trojans. Fully aware of Millington’s desire to dethrone them, the Lady Chargers arrived to the William Osteen Gymnasium Dec. 15 with caution.
In the first quarter the two squad ran patient half-court offenses and used the opening 8 minutes as a grace period. As Covington and Millington proceeded carefully, the Lady Chargers obtained a 10-6 lead at the end of the quarter.
Then out of nowhere the defending champs Lady Chargers were ahead 23-7 at the break and eventually prevailed 52-26 over the Lady Trojans.
“Second and third they sped us up and we turned that ball over,” Millington Head Coach Jason Nichols acknowledged. “They made more jump shots than I thought they would. We tried to take away Fayne and Robinson. Flowers started making shots. And she just has a stud of a point guard. She does not get rattled. She’s just a stud.”
Under the guidance of Kaylynn Howard, the Lady Chargers took it nice and slow in the first quarter. Covington saw how Millington was taking away Lady Charger post players Felia Fayne and DaNiyasia Robinson.
Meanwhile the Lady Trojans grabbed a 4-0 lead courtesy of a Keria McGhee drive to the rim for a bucket and pass to Bailey Boone for a layup.
Cortayza Flowers finally got Covington on the scoreboard with a jumper. After Fayne deadlock the game at 4-4, Howard nailed back-to-back three-pointers to give Covington a 10-4 lead. The final basket of the first quarter came courtesy of Micaiah Halliburton to make the tally 10-6. The second quarter began, Covington Head Coach Katrisha Glass employed her full court pressure defense. Lady Chargers like Howard, Flowers, Nakiya Gilliam and more forces Millington miscues to created the double-digit halftime lead and limit the Lady Trojans to 1 point in the second quarter. As Covington charged ahead, Millington players kept progressing in order to learn a valuable lesson.
“We’ve got to grow as one,” Nichols noted. “By mid-season I think we’ll be there. I had the ref tell me, ‘Coach not bad. By mid-season and district you’ll have a chance to be there to do something special.’ We’re still trying to climb. Right now we’re here but we’re trying to get up here.”
The 26-point defeat was humbling for the Lady Trojans and gave them a litmus test for how to gain control of District 15-2A down the road.
“We have to get back in the lab and watch film,” Nichols said. “We’re going to attack some things and then pray to the good Lord about these injuries. Get some of these kids back off injury and until then we’re going to keep fighting.
“In order for us to be good, it comes down to my four guards, Keria McGhee, Micaiah Halliburton, Jontavia Bonner and Jerilynn Richardson have to be great for me,” he concluded. “Games like this playing Covington they have to be great, not just good. They have to be great against them. Kudos to my freshman Bailey. That girl is only 14 years old and she was down there battling every play.”
Millington bounced back Friday with a 62-41 win over Bolivar to make its league record 1-1.