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Terrell County boys rout Miller in season, home opener; Lady Pirates upend Lady Greenwave

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

DAWSON -- A 38-point victory is nothing to sneeze at.

But to the Terrell County boys basketball team, which has grown accustomed to greatness, Friday's 79-41 victory against Miller County in the Greenwave's season and home opener was less than stellar.

"It was the first game, so I felt like we were kind of sloppy. I felt like we were not consistent in our usual transitional play, and I think that (goes with it being) the first game of the season," said Terrell County head coach John Davis, whose team went 26-4 last year and made it to the Final Four. "Everybody was just probably over-excited (Friday) and couldn't get it together as a whole. But for the most part, a pretty win is better than an ugly loss, so I'll take them as they come."

Star point guard Terrel Hall agreed.

"We did OK, but we know that with (us) coming back from the Final Four last year, we needed to set the tone more than this," said Hall, a returning starter who finished with 22 points, four assists and four steals. "But we have a big region game (today), so it's going to be real exciting and (important) to win."

The Greenwave may have had today's rivalry match against Randolph-Clay in mind, but first they had to take care of a pesky Pirates squad, which wouldn't go away in the first half.

Despite being down 11-1 at the beginning of the game, Miller County made the game 27-23 Terrell after the Greenwave committed their fourth free throw lane-violation of the game with five minutes left in the half. The Pirates also made it to halftime down a reasonable 39-24, but that's when the Terrell players woke up.

"Coach gave us a halftime speech and was like, 'This isn't the same team as the Final Four, but we need to set that same tone,' " Hall said. "We plan to go undefeated. But if we want to do that, we have to do it as a team."

They definitely came out with that attitude in the third quarter, outscoring Miller 27-10 in the frame to make it a 66-34 game, then cruising the rest of the way.

"Our defense played much better defense (after the break)," Davis said. "I rotated a lot of guys, but we played much better defense the second half."

The Greenwave finished with 26 steals as a team and forced just as many passes out-of-bounds by the Pirates. Terrell actually had eight players finish with two or more steals, led by returning senior guard Charles Brown, who finished with 14 points and five takeaways.

Juwan Jones finished with eight points and four rebounds for Miller (0-1), which finished 13-16 last year.

LADY PIRATES 55, LADY GREENWAVE 51:

The Terrell County girls team wasn't as lucky as the boys, as it fell apart in the second half Friday.

Behind senior DeAndrea Mitchell -- who finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds -- the Lady Greenwave had a 22-21 halftime lead on a 15-foot jumper with 3 seconds left, but the Lady Pirates came out with a full-court press in the second half and caused problems for Terrell.

"I think (we could have won tonight). Not to take anything from Miller County -- I think they're a great team -- but I think we got tired and started making mental, careless mistakes," said Lady Greenwave coach Tammye Jenkins, whose squad finished 2-19 last year. "I think we had a pretty decent first half, but the second half we just weren't consistent and doing the things that we did in the first half."

Speedy freshman guard Hillary Williams was a big reason for the second-half surge, as she finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five steals.

"She's real quick and she's only a freshman," first-year Miller head coach Nate George said. "I always tell her to keep working and before it's all said and done, she'll be one of the best guards in Georgia."

Senior Salina Diamond added 12 points and five steals for Miller -- which lost to unbeaten Calhoun County in its first game Tuesday -- while freshman Mallory Diamond rebounded from poor shooting in the first half to finish with 11 points.

"(We came out strong after our first loss) and we wanted to do that," Williams said. "(I just had to) be a leader (in this game."

The Lady Pirates will try to build on the win today against Quitman.

"I've been proud of the girls. They've worked hard. I feel like we gave one away Tuesday night against Calhoun, but they came out (Friday) and played hard," George said. "It's an awesome crowd at Terrell County. You have to come with your game face on and I felt like they (did that). I give them all the credit in the world. The girls fought all night."

Miller's Amber Lovering and Terrell's Jalisa Richardson both finished with 10 rebounds.