Determined Millers top Woodlawn Hurt Bradford inspires Milford Mill in 63-57 win

March 05, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

There won't be much celebrating at Milford Mill today.

By now, the No. 12-ranked Millers have put last night's 63-57 regional semifinal victory over No. 14 Woodlawn behind them. They want to concentrate on tomorrow's Class 3A North championship game vs. Catonsville.

"We're not celebrating too much. We're just happy that we got this one," said Millers point guard Jenna Bradford, who scored a game-high 19 points. "We know we've still got a ways to go. We haven't got to the icing yet. We don't want a repeat of last year and the previous year."

The past two years, the Millers have made early exits from regional playoffs, and they are determined not to let that happen again.

If they can get past Catonsville, a team they beat 62-40 during the regular season, the Millers (22-4) will advance to the state final four for the first time since 1993.

Last night, the Millers played like a team headed for the state tournament. They shot well, played outstanding man-to-man defense, and kept their cool late in the game.

Warriors coach Dave Schreiner said the Millers' poise made the difference.

"They played more mature than we did," he said. "They didn't panic, and they made good decisions. We didn't make good decisions when the game was close, and we had some chances."

The only time the Millers got rattled was just before the half, a few minutes after Bradford left the game with a sprained ankle.

Dyana Mitchell's follow gave the Millers a 41-38 lead, their biggest. But the Warriors scored the last 10 points of the half including eight in the final 28 seconds. The Millers turned the ball over four times, and Anitra Smith and Carissa Ingram-Hall each converted twice.

After the half, the Millers extended their lead to 45-38, but the Warriors hit four of their next five shots to take their first lead since 5-3. Mandy Clark's 20-footer from the top gave Woodlawn a 47-45 lead with 3: 55 to go in the quarter.

But the lead would be short-lived. Bradford, who returned just before Clark's basket, grabbed a rebound and scored to tie the game 20 seconds later, sparking a nine-point Millers run.

Bradford, who had the hot hand early with 12 points in the first quarter, continued to play despite pain and a noticeable limp.

"I was determined," said the senior. "It hurt like crazy, but sometimes, you got to suck it up."

The Millers also got an excellent game from Mitchell, who had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

For Woodlawn (19-6), Clark had 17 points and Ingram-Hall 15.

Pub Date: 3/05/98

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