By Jalyn Powell
The Milford High varsity boys’ basketball team lost a tough game to the undefeated Smyrna Eagles, 69-62, on Thursday, Feb. 2 at Milford Central Academy.
“This game would have ranked us second in the [Henlopen Conference] Northern Division,” said Milford assistant varsity coach Greg Smock.
The Buccaneers battled back and forth with Smyrna for the lead, causing the Eagles to pick up the pace. When the Eagles made this adjustment, the Bucs failed to play both ends of the court effectively.
“Lack off defense cost us the game,” said junior guard Shakur Manzo.
Lacking the hustle on defense, the Bucs allowed the Eagles to score multiple fast-break lay-ups as Smyrna gained the lead at halftime. The Bucs rallied to tie the game at 48 in the third quarter, though.
“Our heads got too high, and we shied away from team basketball, including myself,” admitted sophomore Tikeace Harris.
The Bucs did lead the game in turnovers and fouls, and this may have prevented the win.
“This was a fouled-played game. Smyrna shot 26-for-37, while we shot 9-for-17 at the free throw line,” said Milford head coach B.J. Joseph. “Our turnovers occurred in the most important parts of the game.”
The team’s goal now is to win its final five games of the regular season to potentially reach the state tournament. The Buccaneers will travel to face the Sussex Tech Ravens, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 7.
“We need to play better defense in order to win these next five games,” said senior Cesar Vasquez.