By Kevin Eickman
The best way to put last season’s Milford boys basketball season in perspective is to compare it with that of a roller coaster. The start of the season was marked by inconsistent play and more than a few difficult moments. While the Bucs came close in a few games to start the season, they found themselves standing at 0-6 as December was coming to a close.
Milford bounced back from that slow start, putting together a seven game winning streak, and giving meaning to a season that had been lost at the start. While the 11-9 final record was not good enough to qualify for the State tournament, the fact that they had given themselves a chance to get in at all was a credit to their will.
This year Milford will be competing in the Henlopen South, and with dynamic seniors Tikeace Harris and Jason Parker returning, hopes are high. “We have two guys coming back that were first team All-Conference last season,” coach B.J. Joseph commented. “But honestly, what they did last season does not mean anything, we cannot just throw the ball out there and expect to win.”
Joseph’s statement is the crux of the issue for the Buccaneers, the key for Milford this season will be the effort the team puts in. In their first first preseason game against Hodgson Vocational Tech, Joseph thought his team was less than focused. “These guys need to understand that we need to bring a solid effort all the time, not just some of it,” stated Joseph. “This team has real potential, they just need to remain focused.”
While Harris and Parker may be two big pieces of the puzzle, it takes more than two players to make a basketball team. Also returning for a senior season will be Octavion Wilson, who Joseph looks to to provide a physical presence in the paint. “O.T. Is strong in the paint, he has a solid work ethic,” said Joseph.
Height is not going to be an advantage for the Bucs this season, so they will have to make up for it in other ways “We definitely are not a tall team, so we are just going to have to make up for that in other areas,” Joseph stated. “We are going to play smart and aggressive basketball, we are going to take our speed and use it to our advantage.”
There are some new faces in the lineup that should see significant minutes, including sophomore Son Martinez. “We brought Son up for the final game of last season against Cape and he demonstrated what a solid defensive player he can be,” said Joseph. Another sophomore Joseph is looking to play a key part is Devin Kravitz. “He did not play last year, but we are looking for him to step up and provide significant minutes.” Joseph stated.
Harris and Parker have played together their entire time at Milford and are eagerly looking forward to their senior seasons. Talking with the two, they appear ready to provide the leadership needed for this years squad. “We have a few kinks right now but we are all working together to get them cleaned up,” Harris stated. Parker believes this team has a big year in them. “If we work together, we can be a very good basketball team,” said Parker. “It is all up to the effort that everyone puts in, it is really up to us how far this team can go,” he concluded.
Milford will start the season with three consecutive road games, beginning this Friday at Lake Forest where tip-off is scheduled for 6:15 pm.