Milford Mill girls basketball beats Holy Cross, 59-53, in Beast of the East

December 14, 2013|By Jeff Seidel, For The Baltimore Sun

Milford Mill had several chances to lock up a victory in the fourth quarter of Saturday night's game versus Holy Cross. The Millers couldn't do it then, but Dionna White helped them finish the job in overtime.

White scored eight of her team-high 20 points in the extra period as No. 4 Milford Mill bounced back to pull out a 59-53 victory over Holy Cross in The Beast of The East tournament at Roland Park.

The Millers (2-0) trailed for much of the game before rallying in the fourth quarter, and held a 51-45 lead with just under three minutes left. Holy Cross — from Kensington — scored the final six points of regulation to force overtime, the last coming on a Jillian Dunston free throw with 26.5 seconds left.

White had a tough fourth quarter, losing two baskets in the final minutes after she was called for charging and traveling, but the guard never blinked when overtime came.

"It wasn't that bad," White said. "I had to do it for my team."

She did plenty in the four-minute overtime. In fact, the 5-foot-8 junior scored all six of Milford Mill's points. White drilled a three-point shot from the top of the key that gave the Millers the lead for good at 54-52 with two minutes, 21 seconds left.

Holy Cross didn't make a basket in overtime. The Tartans missed both shots from the field, went 2-for-5 from the free throw line and turned it over twice.

All of that left the door open for White and the Millers. They didn't lose their cool after the shaky end to regulation, something that coach DeToiya McAliley liked.

"This is a group that keeps their composure," McAliley said.

White was the leader in that area. Either of the baskets she lost in the final seconds of the fourth quarter would have won the game for Milford Mill. Instead, she got called for charging while driving and making a layup with 39 seconds left.

The next time down the floor, White got whistled for traveling while making another shot. In overtime, she made the big three-point shot but also hit five of six from the line to lock up the win.

"She's played in a lot tougher situations," McAliley said. "She doesn't let things get to her. That just her demeanor."

Milford Mill needed to stay focused throughout the game as the Millers had problems both getting going on offense and stopping Holy Cross center Rhamat Alhassan.

The Millers went minutes without a basket a few times, which proved cosly because Alhassan was difficult to stop. A 6-foot-5 senior who's headed to Florida to play volleyball, Alhassan scored 30 points despite facing double-teams through three quarters.

The Tartans kept feeding her, and Alhassan made all kinds of short jumpers and bank shots. But she had problems at the free throw line late, missing six of 10 foul shots in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Holy Cross made just 13 of 30 from the line while Milford Mill hit 20 of 29, which made the difference. Milford Mill had only four players score – Qierra Murray (16), Kelli Smoot (15) and Deja McKenzie (8) — but it had just enough to get by.

Milford Mill 59, Holy Cross 53 (OT)

H-Dunston 4, Muldoon 7, Lustig 3, Carter 4, Alhassan 30, Bailey 5. Totals: 19 13-30 53.

M-Murray 16, Smoot 15, White 20, McKenzie 8. Totals: 17 20-29 59. Half: H, 31-25.

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