Milford Mill was out of control in the first half, then took control in the second half yesterday against North Harford in the Baltimore County Holiday Invitational tournament at Essex Community College.
After its sloppy first half, undefeated Milford Mill found itself tied at halftime with the smaller Hawks. But after a halftime talk by coach Homer Seidel, the Millers outscored North Harford, 43-17, in the second half to win going away, 72-46.
Milford Mill (5-0) advances to tonight's 7:30 White Division championship against Towson Catholic, a 75-61 winner over Chesapeake-BC. Tim Wallace scored 27 and Dana Marshall 21 to lead Towson Catholic.
In the Blue Division, Dundalk outscored Havre de Grace, 12-2, down the stretch to beat the Warriors, 77-65. Harry Pegg and Darrin McCullers each scored 20 for the victors, who play Overlea for the division title today at 4:30.
Also today, the Gold Division championship has No. 7 Catonsville facing Lansdowne at 6 p.m. The Red Division final has Bowie playing last night's Aberdeen-Perry Hall winner at 9 p.m.
"We didn't play with patience in the first half," said Seidel, whose team committed 13 turnovers before the break. "We tried to up-tempo the game, and we turned the ball over a bunch of times. At halftime, I just told them we needed patience, and a couple minutes into the third quarter, it started to work."
Tied, 29-29, at the half, Milford Mill outscored North Harford, 11-4, to open the third quarter. The Millers went inside, where they had a size advantage. Six-foot-6 center Norman Nolan, a freshman guarded by a 6-footer, scored eight third-quarter points to help his team build a 49-39 lead after three.
For the game, Nolan scored 13 and had 12 rebounds, three steals and four blocked shots. He also altered several other North Harford shots.
"Their height advantage played a major role," said North Harford coach Charles Griffith, whose team dropped to 1-4. "We also stopped hitting our shots and started throwing away passes."
Those that the Hawks threw away, the Millers pounced on. Milford Mill outscored North Harford, 23-7, in the final quarter.
"We were able to take advantage of their mistakes in the second half," said Seidel. "We got good passing and we showed patience until we were able to get the ball down low."
The Millers used their superior height to start the game with an 8-2 run, grabbing offensive rebounds and scoring on four layups. But Hawks forward Scott Drega (24 points) began hitting from outside, including two three-pointers, to keep his team in the game.