Milford Mill's big effort downs Catonsville 61-54 victory gives Millers 3A North championship

Girls basketball

March 07, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

tTC The celebration at Milford Mill surely will linger this time.

Jenna Bradford's three-pointer from the top of the key with 17 seconds to go sealed last night's 61-54 Class 3A North championship victory over Catonsville. Now, the Millers will savor the victory awhile.

The regional title has been a long time coming and sent the Millers to the state tournament for the first time since 1993.

Milford (23-4) will play its state semifinal game Thursday at 9 p.m. at UMBC against the winner of today's South Region final between Friendly and Douglass-PG. The Class 3A title game is at 8 p.m. March 14.

Behind double-digit efforts from Bradford, Dyana Mitchell, Chante Alexander and Danielle Carter, the Millers ended three years of frustration.

"This means a lot," said Millers coach Pam Wright. "We wanted it bad. The last two years we had the team to do it, but we didn't do it."

The Millers were favored to win regional titles both years, only to be upset early. Coming off Wednesday's emotional 63-57 win at No. 14-ranked Woodlawn, the Millers were careful not to think they had this one in the bag either.

"It's all about emotion," said senior guard Bradford, whose team beat the Comets 62-40 during the regular season. "They came out here and they wanted it. They shook us up a little, but we knew if we didn't do it now, we would never do it. Everybody gave it everything we got."

Still, the Comets (17-9) would not let the Millers break away. Milford, which had averaged 84 points in its first three regional games, led 52-40 with 3: 43 left, but the Comets rallied to within 56-54 on five of Danni Packer's game-high 18 points.

Bradford had been a little shaky from the perimeter after suffering a mild ankle sprain in the Woodlawn game, but she pulled up and nailed the 20-footer.

"We were going to try to control inside," said Catonsville coach Mike Mohler, "and we knew to do that, we had to give up something. If they bury them, God love them; if not, we're in the game. She [Bradford] just buried that one."

The Comets hit five three-pointers and scored three more field goals than Milford, but the Millers hit 15 of 21 free throws to stay ahead.

Although the Comets managed to open up the middle and get some layups, they didn't get many second chances. The Millers out-rebounded them, 51-33.

Mitchell finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists while Alexander had 12 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks. Carter added 12 points and Bradford 11 points and three assists.

Pub Date: 3/07/98

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