Milford Mill passes Fallston test, 58-49

No. 9 Millers overcome Andrews, halftime deficit

High Schools

Class 3A North region girls basketball

March 04, 2004|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

If the Milford Mill girls basketball team needed a reminder of how tough of an opponent Fallston can be, they got one last night in a Class 3A North region semifinal game.

But once again, the ninth-ranked Millers showed their mettle, overcoming a halftime deficit and the hot shooting of Cougars guard Amanda Andrews to post a 58-49 victory, ending Fallston's season for the third straight year.

The Millers (20-3) will face Western in the region final tomorrow, looking for their seventh straight trip to the state semifinals.

But this one certainly didn't come easy for Milford Mill, which watched Andrews score 20 points in the first half before the Millers went to a man-to-man defense and held her to four points the rest of the way.

Junior forward Chelsea Jeter scored a game-high 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and junior guard Shawna Scott added 13 points, as Milford Mill closed with a flourish after Fallston (18-7) had cut the Millers' lead from 12 points to three with 2:25 left.

"We have a pretty good rivalry," said Millers coach Pam Wright, whose team needed double overtime to beat the Cougars two years ago, and then survived a scare to win by eight at Fallston last year. "It's like this every time we play them."

Andrews, who also added five steals to go along with her 24 points, exploited the Millers' zone defense early, hitting four first-half three-pointers and nearly single-handedly carrying Fallston back from a nine-point deficit with 2:30 to play in the first half.

Fallston closed the first half on a 12-2 run, with Allison Borchers' put-back as time expired giving the Cougars a 27-26 lead.

"Our thing in the second half was to go out and shut down [Andrews] and we were able to do that," said Wright, whose team also got 15 rebounds from Eugenna Carson. "She had 20 of their 27 points at halftime. You can't let one person beat you."

Milford Mill answered by getting the ball inside to Jeter, who scored consecutive buckets to give the Millers a 35-31 lead midway through the third quarter.

Jeter then started the fourth quarter with two more baskets to give Milford Mill a 47-35 lead.

"We tried to make adjustments to defend her a little bit better, but she was just getting too deep in the paint," said Vern Brown, who co-coaches the Cougars with Alice Puckett.

Still, Fallston, which also got 13 points from Kelly Heir, had its chances late, cutting the Millers' lead to 51-48 with 2:25 left, before turnovers and several missed layups did the Cougars in.

Milford Mill's Ashley Cates then sealed it with a driving layup with 12 seconds to play.

"We're just excited that we have the opportunity to play in one more game and we'll hopefully get back to the states," said Jeter.

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