COLLEGE PARK -- Milford Mill had its ups and downs throughout the regular season. Despite finishing the schedule without a loss, the Millers took awhile to hit their stride.
But as the regular season came to an end, the Millers began to roll. And yesterday, in the Class 1A state title game, Wilde Lake couldn't do anything to slow down the Millers.
No. 3-ranked Milford Mill got a strong game from all five starters, as Blanchard Hurd scored 26 points, Keon Sellman added 17 and Jermaine Dunn pulled down 17 rebounds to lead the top-seeded Millers to a 68-54 victory over third-seeded Wilde Lake at Cole Field House.
The victory completed the first perfect season for Milford Mill (23-0). This is Milford Mill's third state title -- the most ever by a Baltimore County school -- in seven years. The Millers beat Smithsburg in 1988 and Perryville in 1992 for the other titles.
Wilde Lake, making its first appearance in the title game in nine years, ended up 14-11.
Milford Mill usually received good games from a few different people during the season. But yesterday, each of the five starters stood out.
"Everybody stepped up today," said Milford Mill point guard Kenny Bostic. "Everybody contributed something."
Hurd and Dunn, the 6-foot-7 twin towers, contributed strong play inside. They combined for 36 points and 30 rebounds and controlled play near the basket.
After a bit of a slow start, Hurd (13 rebounds) scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half as Milford Mill pulled away.
"I was a little too anxious [early]," said Hurd. "It was hard to get a touch here [but] once you start getting a feel for it, you know how to put it in the hoop."
Dunn stepped up as he did on Friday against Williamsport. The senior forward scored 10 points and worked with Dunn to neutralize Wilde Lake's tall tandem of forward Sule Carpenter (6-6) and center Carl Jackson (6-7).
"Jermaine Dunn complemented Blanchard Hurd so well," said Milford Mill coach Homer Seidel. "Today they both played to a level together."
Sellman also moved his game to another level. The 6-4 forward scored six of his 17 points in the third quarter as Milford Mill began stretching its lead.
The Millers started increasing their lead in the third quarter. They led by only 28-25 at the break, and Seidel told his team at halftime to work on moving the ball inside and getting back on defense.
Bostic (nine assists) started punching the ball inside to Hurd. The center scored eight points as the Millers increased their lead 53-38.
"As the game progressed, we got more aggressive," said Dunn. "We were a little bit tired from [Friday's] game."
The Millers were not tired from running. Just like Williamsport in the semifinals, Wilde Lake would not let the Millers' fast break get moving.
That forced Milford Mill to again run an effective half-court offense. This caused the Millers trouble earlier in the season, but the team recently began doing everything right.
"I think the team came together about six games ago," said Seidel. "We've had a lot of strange things happen, but I don't think we could have done much better [against Wilde Lake]."