Workmanlike Milford Mill eliminates Aberdeen, 64-58 Millers heading for Cole, as Eagles' offense fades

Class 2A/Boys basketball

March 08, 1997|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,SUN STAFF

Milford Mill may not be all the way back, but last night's 64-58 Class 2A North region championship victory at Aberdeen certainly gave the players and their fans something to get excited about.

A year ago, in coach Ed Smith's first season, the Millers went 8-12 and lost to North Harford in a regional game.

This season, Smith got the players' attention, and the team went 18-5 during the regular season. Now, the Millers head to College Park for the state tournament, hoping for a return to the glory of the earlier '90s. Under long-time coach Homer Seidel, Milford Mill won state titles in 1992 and 1994 and were second in 1995.

L Milford Mill will play in a semifinal at 7 or 9 p.m. Friday.

In this year's games, the No. 15 Millers have wound up usually with balanced scoring and good inside-outside play. Nothing was flashy about last night's win, but a workmanlike effort got the job done -- especially after Aberdeen, down 10 in the third quarter, scrambled back to within four going to the last segment.

No. 13 Aberdeen did not play nearly as well as it had in going 22-2 (45-5 for two years) and was held to its lowest point total of the season. The Harford County team was within three (44-41) before the visitors took charge.

Anton Word made two free throws and James Cowans drove for a basket to boost the margin to 52-44 with 4: 38 left.

"We've been getting a team effort, especially the last five-six games," said a teary-eyed Smith. "Basic man-to-man [defense], nothing fancy, and we get everybody involved."

Which was why the Baltimore County school could lose 6-foot-7 senior Joel Lucas on fouls in the first minute of the last quarter and not miss a beat.

Cowans, who had scored 16 and 18 in two earlier regional routs, came back with 18 more last night, 10 in the second half when they were needed. Arthur Lewis Jr. added 12 points, and Word, 11.

Aberdeen coach Ron Petrey, who guided the Eagles to the Class 2A state final a year ago, said of his team's effort: "We've been living on the edge, and this time we never got in sync. We had been a team all season, but this looked like each player trying to do it himself. And, once again, we couldn't make free throws."

Aberdeen went 12-for-26 from the foul line in a semifinal win at Catonsville and were 14-for-30 last night. The Millers weren't a lot better, however -- 12-for-28.

Junior Joe Magby led Aberdeen with 13 points. Junior forward E. J. Henderson, a 17-point, 10-rebound player all year, had just one basket in the first half, and he and sophomore forward Stephan Watson ended with 12.

Pub Date: 3/08/97

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