Milford Mill pulls away, wins, 59-36

Millers' defense delivers in rout of Randallstown

Girls basketball

January 23, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Just about anything can happen in a game between next-door neighbors and that certainly seemed to be the case last night when No. 9 Milford Mill and Randallstown put up only eight points in the first quarter of their girls basketball game.

Once the Millers' defense kicked in, however, it was a different game. Their quick-strike offense sparked a runaway 59-36 win in a key Baltimore County Division I game at Milford Mill.

The Millers barely managed a 7-1 lead in the first quarter thanks to Qiana Cheatham's buzzer-beating three-pointer. While the Rams shot 0-for-9 from the field, the Millers hit just three of 18 shots.

In the second quarter, the Millers broke away by forcing 16 turnovers and converting seven of them. Cheatham started the quarter with a steal and a layup. Melanie Gordon added a follow shot. Shonna Scott hit another layup off a steal. Chelsea Jeter contributed two free throws and a three-point play. Candyce Jeter added a layup off a steal.

All that came in the first 2:14 of the quarter and gave the Millers a 20-3 lead.

"What really got us going was [coach Pam Wright] talking to us," said Candyce Jeter. "She told us to cut the turnovers and get some intensity. Once we got those steals, we were motivated more."

The Rams, who made just one of 17 shots in the first half, knew exactly what the Millers planned to do defensively, said coach Sharon Davis.

"I expected them to give us fast breaks. I expected them to come up and trap us. I wasn't surprised when they went into a 2-3 zone. I expected mostly everything that happened in the game to happen," Davis said. "Some of it is experience on the court. This is a learning experience for us."

The Rams, who struggled with their outside shots all night, did rally in the third quarter, helped by two Cheniece Arthur three-pointers, to pull within 29-20. They trailed 35-24 going into the fourth quarter. The Millers' defense proved up to the challenge once again, converting five turnovers to open the quarter with a 12-0 run and take a 47-24 lead with 5:46 left.

Sisters Candyce and Chelsea Jeter combined for 11 steals. Candyce and Cheatham each scored 17, and Chelsea added 15 points.

The Millers (12-2) improved to 6-0 and took a two-game lead on the pack in Division I. The Rams (4-6) fell to 3-2 in the division. Every other team in the division, including defending county champion Parkville, has at least two losses.

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