Milford Mill teams up for semifinal win Millers build 20-point lead, then hold off Douglass-PG to get shot at state title

Class 3A girls basketball

March 13, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

After No. 11-ranked Milford Mill won its state semifinal game last night, coach Pam Wright said she wanted to get a hat that said "State Finalist."

The way the Millers are playing, she may want to wait until after tomorrow night's championship game. She may want a hat that reads "State Champ."

The Millers (24-4) ran up a 20-point lead and held off an aggressive surge by Prince George's County's Douglass for a 66-48 victory in a state Class 3A semifinal last night at UMBC.

Milford will play last year's Class 2A champ, Wheaton, for the title at 8 p.m. tomorrow at UMBC.

Wheaton (25-0) ran its winning streak to 48 games with a 64-46 victory over No. 3 Wilde Lake in yesterday's other Class 3A semifinal.

While the Millers will be underdogs against Wheaton, they have been playing terrific team basketball in the playoffs.

As an example, Jenna Bradford led the Millers last night with 19 points and seven assists. Chante Alexander added 14 points, and Dyana Mitchell scored 13.

The Millers shook off some early jitters after turning the ball over on their first five possessions. They took their first lead at 19-17 early in the second quarter.

Midway through the third quarter Milford scored 13 straight points, hitting six straight shots. That gave them a 43-28 lead with 2: 45 to go in the quarter.

They extended that lead to 54-43 early in the fourth quarter. That was enough to hold off the Eagles (25-2), who pulled to within 57-46 with 1: 46 left.

"They were real aggressive, and I think the 20-point lead got to our heads," said Bradford. "Then we calmed down and started walking the ball down. That's what we had to do -- slow the ball down and work it."

The Millers' box-and-one defense, with Mitchell sticking to Eagles point guard Rochelle Luckett, gave Douglass problems. The Eagles managed just five points in the second quarter, and Luckett, who averages 23 points a game, finished with 16.

"My strategy was to play a zone and one-on-one on her to try to take her out of the game," said Wright. "The court is long, and it would keep us rested and keep us out of foul trouble. No press, no running like we normally do, because we didn't need it."

Pub Date: 3/13/98

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