No. 6 Milford Mill outlasts North East, 84-65

March 05, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

North East of Cecil County last night became the first team this season to go right at Milford Mill. The problem for North East was the Millers came right back.

Blanchard Hurd scored 32 points, and Kenny Bostic added 21 along with 10 assists as top-seeded and sixth-ranked Milford Mill overcame a slow start to post an 84-65 victory over fifth-seeded North East in a Class 1A North Region semifinal last night at Owings Mills.

Milford Mill (20-0) meets Sparrows Point tonight at 7 at Owings Mills -- where Milford Mill is playing this weekend because of a leaky roof in its school gymnasium. This is the sixth time in the last seven years Milford Mill has reached the region finals.

North East (11-9) likes to play an up-tempo game, and that's how things started. The Indians came out running, played a man-to-man defense and never backed off.

Rick DiPietro starred in the first quarter. The North East guard scored 16 of his 26 in the quarter as the Indians and Millers raced up and down the court and were tied at 22 after one.

Milford Mill then slowly began to take over. Bostic (six steals) kept the offense under control, and the Millers took the lead on a Keon Sellman (17 points) tip-in 13 seconds into the second quarter and never relinquished it.

"This is the first team that came at us," said Bostic. "We were ready. We knew this was the playoffs, and if we lost tonight, there was nothing [left]."

Milford Mill pulled ahead, 40-34, at halftime, but the second half -- was a different story. Bostic and teammates began punching the ball inside, mainly to Hurd, and the Millers started getting higher percentage shots.

"We were very disciplined [on offense]," said Milford Mill coach Homer Seidel. "We were not impatient."

The patience paid off, especially for Hurd (13 rebounds). The 6-foot-7 junior scored 20 points in the second half, mostly from the paint, as the Millers slowly pulled away.

Defense also helped. Milford Mill guard James Blume shadowed DiPietro all over the court the final three quarters. After hitting five of six in the first quarter and scoring 21 in the first half, DiPietro could add only five in the second half.

Milford Mill also stepped up the pressure on defense. North East turned the ball over 30 times, and Milford Mill turned many of them into easy baskets.

One basket that was not easy was the game's final one. Ken Brookins sank a half-court shot for the Millers as the buzzer sounded, giving the team its biggest lead of the night.

"I hoped to come up here and give them a good game," said North East coach Steve Burke.

"We were just going to come out here and do the things we've done all year, play man-to-man defense and run a motion offense. We just [got tired] in the fourth quarter."

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