Stall doesn't slow Milford MIll

March 12, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

COLLEGE PARK -- Williamsport came out determined not to let Milford Mill run in yesterday's state Class 1A boys semifinals.

So the Wildcats slowed the pace to a crawl early, holding the ball for long stretches before getting high-percentage shots. There was only one problem.

They missed them all.

No. 3-ranked Milford Mill blanked Williamsport for the first 10:04, and Jermaine Dunn and Blanchard Hurd scored 17 points apiece as the Millers advanced to their fourth state-title game in seven years with a 59-40 victory over the Wildcats.

Top-seeded Milford Mill (22-0) will play third-seeded Wilde Lake for the state title at 1 p.m. today at Cole Field House. Wilde Lake edged second-seeded Snow Hill, 69-68, in yesterday's other boys 1A semifinal.

A victory today would make Milford Mill the first Baltimore County team to win three state titles. Milford Mill won in 1988 and 1992, and lost the 1989 title game.

The Millers expected fourth-seeded Williamsport (14-11) to keep things slow, and the Wildcats did not disappoint. On their first possession, the Wildcats spread the floor and held the ball for nearly a minute before missing a shot.

Neither team scored until the Millers' Brian Whorley hit a jumper with 4:16 left in the quarter. Milford Mill, however, stayed patient on offense and built an 8-0 lead after one.

The Millers stayed focused on offense, especially in the first half, and ran their half-court game effectively. Point guard Kenny Bostic (six points, eight assists) kept them under control.

"We were real deliberate today," said Milford Mill coach Homer Seidel, who also got 14 from Keon Sellman. "We wanted to exhibit offensive patience and take good shots."

Williamsport also stayed patient on offense. Milford Mill often relies on a zone defense, but yesterday it switched to pressure man-to-man in the first quarter to keep Williamsport from standing and holding the ball.

Williamsport still got its share of good shots, but the ball did not drop for the Washington County school. The Wildcats missed all 13 in the first quarter and did not get on the board until Jon Hall (10 points) made the score 10-2 on a jumper with 5:56 left in the second quarter.

Milford Mill slowly extended the lead in the second quarter. Hurd scored seven as the Millers moved the lead to 18-2 at one point. Williamsport continued to take its time on offense, but the Wildcats struggled. They missed 20 of 24 from the field and trailed, 24-10, at halftime.

"They were trying to frustrate us by holding the ball," said Hurd, who also had 12 rebounds. "We kept our heads together."

Williamsport stepped up the pace after the break, but did not cause the Millers trouble. The Wildcats never drew closer than 15.

A big reason for that was Dunn. The 6-foot-7 forward scored 13 points in the second half. He also pulled down 13 of his 16 rebounds in the final two quarters.

Williamsport kept fighting until the end. The Wildcats, led by Alan Moore (12 points), Kollin Murphy (11 points) and Hall (10), scored 30 points in the second half -- but it was too late.

Williamsport coach Kevin Murphy said the long dry stretch in the beginning was too much for his team to overcome.

"It seemed like the more time went on, the hoop kept getting smaller and smaller," said Murphy. "It was an uphill battle after that."

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