Milford Mill tops Overlea, clinches county 1A-2A title

February 23, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

Overlea spent much of the game double- and triple-teaming Milford Mill center Blanchard Hurd. The 6-foot-7 junior needed to work hard for his shots.

But his work paid off.

Hurd scored a game-high 28 points, including six straight late in the fourth quarter to give No. 6 Milford Mill the lead for good, as the Millers outlasted visiting Overlea, 58-55, to clinch the Baltimore County 1A-2A title last night.

The win moved Milford Mill's record to 17-0 overall and 15-0 in county 1A-2A competition. The Millers appear to have the top spot in the regional playoffs locked up.

Hurd and 6-7 forward Jermaine Dunn ruled the paint. Hurd added 18 rebounds and two blocks, and Dunn pitched in with 13 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks.

When the Millers needed clutch points, however, they went to Hurd. The center with the soft touch scored eight of his team's 13 fourth-quarter points.

"I'm just trying to win," said Hurd. "If I'm feeling it, they'll pass me the ball."

And that's what they did. Hurd began to take over with the Millers trailing, 51-49, with under three minutes remaining. He followed a Kenny Bostic miss to tie the game, and then put back a Brian Whorley miss to give the Millers a 53-51 lead with 2:12 left.

After Bernard Fitchette tied the game 30 seconds later, Hurd avoided Overlea defenders to hit a turn-around jumper with 1:25 left to give the Millers the lead for good at 55-53.

"He's going to get his," said Overlea coach Tom Gere. "He hit some big shots."

Milford Mill also got a strong effort from point guard Bostic. Despite scoring only five points, the senior handed out 10 assists and directed the offense with style.

Milford Mill coach Homer Seidel praised Hurd, but also gave the rest of his team credit for its play, especially in the fourth quarter. Seidelsaid the team's shooting was not completely to his liking, but they made the plays necessary.

"We dodged a bullet tonight," said Seidel. "I really was pleased with my kids' patience. They didn't collapse. They stepped up when they had to."

And the play of Overlea's Shawnte Dukes and Troy Williams forced Milford Mill to step up. Dukes (21 points) and Williams (13 points) combined for 17 of the team's 30 second-half points.

The two did a good job of dictating the tempo late in the game. Dukes repeatedly sliced through the Milford Mill defense for a good shot or to set up a teammate -- often Williams, the area's No. 3 scorer.

The game stayed close the entire second half, and Overlea (13-4, 11-3)went to a half-court game that stopped the Millers from using their fast break. The half-court offense left Milford Mill with few shots. The Millers could take only six shots in the first half of the final quarter.

The Falcons also caused trouble at the other end with a stingy matchup zone. Overlea collapsed on Hurd and Dunn inside, and made every basket for the Millers a difficult one.

Overlea did not trail in the fourth quarter until the final 2:12. Missed opportunities hurt the Falcons. Overlea missed the front end of three one-and-ones in the final quarter, and it made only one basket in the last 4:07.

"We basically did everything we wanted to but win the game," said Gere.

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