With standout center Norman Nolan struggling from the field, Milford Mill guard Chianti Stansbury knew he had to step it up last night against visiting Loch Raven.
As the 6-foot-7 center hit just two of 14 shots against a collapsing zone, Stansbury, at 5-11, connected for a game-high 26 points, including nine in the fourth quarter, to pace the No. 11 Millers to a 65-59 come-from-behind win.
"I'm a senior, and I've got to step it up like that," said Stansbury. "[Nolan] wasn't hitting. He was just frustrated. [My shooting has] been off for a couple games, but today they were going down."
With Milford Mill trailing, 55-48, with 6 minutes, 33 seconds left in the game, the Millers, and Stansbury, came to life. In the next 5:40, they outscored the Raiders, 16-2.
Stansbury had two of his five three-pointers during the stretch, including his final one with 1:20 left that gave Milford a 61-57 lead.
Said Loch Raven coach Gary Horn: "That three-pointer killed us. We tried to put three people around Nolan and match up with Stansbury. It worked early on, but they hurt us late."
Nolan, despite scoring only four points, played strong in the paint, collecting 16 rebounds, including eight in the fourth quarter.
Stansbury also had shooting troubles in the first half, but started connecting after a halftime talk with Seidel.
"He was pulling the trigger too fast," said Seidel, whose team improved to 9-3 overall, and 5-2 in the Baltimore County 2A-1A league. "I told him to pull the trigger more slowly and get set."
As for Nolan, Seidel said the sophomore hasn't yet adjusted to double and triple teams. Seidel, in fact, sat Nolan on the bench for the entire third quarter to ease the center's frustration.
"He just wasn't into his game tonight," said Seidel.
The Raiders (9-3, 5-2), however, were.
Led by Josh Mitchell and Christian Albert, 16 and 13 points respectively, Loch Raven shot well all night.
That was especially true in the first quarter, when the Raiders hit nine of 16 and broke out to a 19-16 lead.
Loch Raven held a slim lead for most of the way, but went on an 8-0 run early in the fourth quarter to go up by 7. But with 3:38 left, Stansbury's fourth three-pointer put Milford up for good at 58-57.