COLLEGE PARK -- Imagine what it might have been like if Norman Nolan had had two good wrists.
For the second straight game Nolan showed no signs of a possible broken left wrist as he scored 30 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked five shots to lead Milford Mill to an 88-63 rout of Perryville in the state Class 1A championship at Cole Field House yesterday.
"The hand didn't bother me today," said Nolan, who injured his wrist two weeks ago and has played with a brace since. "I felt as though I played real well. The shooting was on and the rebounding was on. I just wanted to go out and win the game for the seniors and the coach and the team because I knew how important it was for them."
The title was the Millers' second in the last five years (they also won in 1988) and they earned it in convincing fashion against their opponent from Cecil County.
Milford Mill (20-6) had too much height, talent and speed for Perryville (19-4), which hit just 38.6 percent (28 of 73) of its field goal tries and turned the ball over 21 times.
"We knew what they were going to do going in, but we just didn't attack it right," said Perryville coach Charles Givens. "They had too much height and athletic ability."
Milford Mill hit 50 percent (35-of-70) of its shots and turned the ball over just 11 times. In addition to Nolan, four other Millers reached double figures.
Senior guard Chianti Stansbury scored 23, senior forward Jerome Dennis had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and senior forward Kevin English had 10 points and five rebounds.
The outside shooting of English (four of six) and Stansbury (eight of 14) was key for the Millers, particularly that of Stansbury in the early going as they pulled away. With Perryville ahead 7-5, Stansbury sparked a 22-4 run that gave the Millers a 27-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Stansbury had 10 during that run, including two three-pointers. Perryville never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Givens said Milford Mill's outside shooting came as a surprise. He said he had seen the Millers play the day before and their outside shots weren't dropping.
Stansbury's performance was a redemption of sorts for the husky 6-2 shooting guard who was a freshman reserve on the Millers' team in 1989 that lost to Snow Hill in the title game. Stansbury forgot his shoes that day and had to borrow a pair.
"Today I felt the touch," said Stansbury who hit four of seven from three-point range. "I was taking my time, setting up. I hit the first one and said 'thank you.' I hit the second one and it was deep. I had been off in the playoffs but everyone else had been on."
Still, Nolan was the key for the Millers again. After a 24-point, 14-rebound effort in Friday's 66-39 semifinal win over Pocomoke, Nolan was even more dominant yesterday.
Nolan hit short jumpers made layups, had three thunderous dunks and even hit a three-pointer at the end of the first quarter.
"I didn't see how the injury affected him," said Givens. "He did a lot of things today."
For most of the season Nolan has been surrounded by controversy. There have been rumors that he will transfer to Dunbar or Towson Catholic next year and there have been constant comparisons to Baltimore County's other dominant big man, Bernard Hopkins of Overlea.
But this weekend at Cole Field House Nolan put all of that out of his mind and played with the consistency that could make him one of the nation's top juniors next season.
"It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to see Norman perform at his level of play," said Millers coach Homer Seidel. "There were times this season when Norman didn't do that. He's had an awful lot of pressure on him. That stuff just played on Norman's mind. . . . Today he was a free spirit. Today he played with reckless abandon. Today we saw Norman Nolan in the flesh."
MILFORD MILL -- English 10, Dennis 14, Nolan 30, Bostic 3, Stansbury 23, Andrews 8. Totals: 35 14-21 88.
PERRYVILLE -- Cummings 10, McMillan 9, Brockwell 19, Helm 4, Wallace 15, Felice 4, Stouflett 2. Totals: 28 5-5 63.
Milford Mill 27 19 23 19 -- 88
Perryville 11 19 14 19 -- 63