Tight defense does it again for Milford Mill 1A BOYS BASKETBALL

March 11, 1995|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

COLLEGE PARK -- When Williamsport met Milford Mill in last year's state semifinal, the Washington County team did not score a basket -- or a point -- for the first 10 minutes.

Williamsport coach Kevin Murphy said, earlier this week, that the Wildcats could not dig a similar hole in this year's rematch with No. 12 Milford Mill. But it happened again.

Top-seeded Milford Mill held fourth-seeded Williamsport to six first-half baskets, and Blanchard Hurd scored 12 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to help the Millers defeat the Wildcats, 80-64, in a Class 1A state semifinal last night at Cole Field House.

Defending champion Milford Mill (22-3) advances to the state final for the third time in four years today at 1 p.m. at Cole Field House against Forestville. The third-seeded Knights defeated second-seeded Colonel Richardson, 71-69, in the other semifinal yesterday.

Milford Mill played tight defense in the first half, rarely giving Williamsport (19-6) any good looks at the basket. The Millers held the Wildcats without a basket for the first 4:54, and Williamsport made only six of 25 in the first half.

"We knew we had to play defense," said Hurd, who also had 16 rebounds. "We want to play tomorrow. If we didn't play defense, there would be no tomorrow."

Milford Mill coach Homer Seidel said he thought the Wildcats might have been dwelling on last year's problems. In that game, Milford Mill took a 10-0 lead early. The Wildcats missed their first 13 shots and scored only 10 in the first half.

"I think what happened last year was on their minds," said Seidel. "I think they were thinking about it."

Milford Mill led 43-25 at the break and appeared in charge. But Williamsport, behind the shooting of Kollin Murphy (22 points), cut the deficit to seven late in the third quarter.

The Millers missed their first 10 shots of the third quarter, suddenly developing a fancy for 20-foot jumpers. But point guard A. J. Herbert helped get the team back on course, and Hurd and Keon Sellman (17 points, seven rebounds) took charge.

"We just wanted to settle down a little more and start taking better shots," said Herbert, who finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

And they did -- especially Hurd and Sellman. The Millers hit 16 of their last 24 shots in the final 12 minutes, 10 of them layups or dunks.

Hurd (12) and Sellman (nine) sparked the late charge, combining for 21 of the team's final 37 points. Herbert set up much of Milford Mill's offense in that stretch, handing out five assists.

The Millers also did well on the boards, out-rebounding Williamsport, 48-30, overall. The Millers, who also got 10 points from Brian Whorley, came up with 18 offensive rebounds.

* Forestville 71, Colonel Richardson 69: Joe Lofton scored 27 and sparked an eight-point run late in the fourth quarter as Forestville (17-7) held off Colonel Richardson (22-3) in the other Class 1A semifinal at Cole Field House.

The 6-foot-8 Lofton scored six -- including two jams -- as the third-seeded Knights scored eight straight and took a 68-62 lead.

Albert Mouring (23 points) led the second-seeded Colonels, who twice got within two.

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