Milford Mill and DuVal of Prince George's County didn't approach their meeting yesterday at the Mayor's Basketball Academy as a potential state Class 3A playoff matchup.
After missing an opportunity to meet during the Christmas holiday at the IAABO Tournament at Prince George's Community College, DuVal, the defending state champion, displayed its mettle in turning away the No. 11 Millers, 54-50, at the Coppin Center.
Senior forward Chineze Nwagbo led DuVal (6-3), which overcame a 16-point third-quarter deficit to stun No. 7 Western on Thursday, with a game-high 19 points and Lynette Clark added 12. Junior forward Tamika Rogers led Milford Mill (3-4) with 15 points.
Millers All-Metro guard Mandy Clark scored nine points, four coming after the opening period. The Rutgers-bound Clark spent most of the contest getting her teammates involved. She finished with seven assists and six steals, but shot 3-for-12.
"A lot of times, she will make the great pass, and they don't catch it or finish it, so I wanted her to shoot a little bit more," said Milford Mill coach Pam Wright. "It's good to be unselfish, and I don't want it to be `The Mandy Show.' But when crunch time comes, I'm looking for her to shoot."
In the final quarter, Clark attempted four shots and was called for an offensive foul with 1: 18 remaining with the Millers trailing 53-47.
The Millers fell behind by five with 4: 02 left, when Clark force DuVal into a turnover on the ensuing inbounds play. She missed a jumper, and the Tigers converted on a layup by Nwagbo.
Committed to play for Syracuse next season, Nwagbo scored six of DuVal's eight points in the final session. The Tigers, ranked No. 18 in the Washington area, received 10 points from George Mason-bound guard Vernessa Neamo.
In other girls action, No. 6 Dunbar rebounded from its first loss of the season, disposing of Montgomery County's Wheaton, 74-39.
Lakesha Wills scored 18 points to lead Dunbar (10-1), and sophomore guard Tiffany Jones added 16. Keba Agba led Wheaton with 13.
Seventh-ranked Western dropped its second straight game, losing a 53-35 decision to Newport Prep of Montgomery County.
Aisha Williams led Newport Prep (10-4) with a game-high 12 points. Angel Jordan, Roslyn Vernoy and Siriena Moore each contributed 10 points.
Joy Gorham led Western (5-5) with 10 points. The Doves were unable to make a serious charge after falling behind 29-18 at halftime.
"We've had a lot of injuries, but not to use that as an excuse," said Western coach Artie Ulrich. "We haven't played with all of our players yet this year, and we're playing some good teams. We got to play tougher and more consistent."