By Kevin Eickman
There is something to be said for the dedication it takes to play high school sports. The hours of hard work and dedication that go into it are usually only seen by teammates, coaches and parents. This past Tuesday the Milford girls’ basketball team played their final regular season game, facing the Delmar Wildcats at home.
Prior to the game Milford recognized their four seniors who got a chance to say goodbye in style. Myleiris Vazquez, Diamond Turner, Jalyn Powell and Brooklyn Maloney were recognized for their contributions to Milford basketball.
Perhaps it was the emotion of the evening, or just a little bit of rust after a few days off, but the girls started off a bit slowly in the game, holding just a 13-11 advantage as the first quarter came to a close. It was not the kind of start that coach Leona White was looking for. “We started off a bit slow tonight and it took a while for the girls to get going.“ White stated.
Milford settled down in the second quarter, as their pressure defense forced numerous turnovers as the Bucs extended their advantage to 30-18 as the first half came to a close. From there Milford never looked back on their way to the 62-33 victory and an 18-2 record for the regular season.
While the score was nice, it was not as impressive as it could have been due to problems at the free throw line. Milford was just 4-24 from the stripe, indicating this was an area they would have to work on as the State Tournament approaches. “Free throws win games and lose games, and their arms are going to be tired tomorrow, because we need to correct that,” White stated.
Free throw shooting aside, White was happy with how the game turned out on the evening. “Senior night is always special as you saw I started all my seniors and played them most of the night,” White said. “This is a very special group, they are dedicated to each other, they are like a family.”
Talking with Powell after the game, she was happy with the win and is looking forward to the tournament that lays ahead. “We started out kind of slow tonight, but our defense stepped it up and we we got the win” stated Powell. “This team is ready for the tournament, we know the kind of hard work it takes and we will be up to the challenge.”
Vazquez, who had a game high 30 points on the evening was proud of how the team responded as well . “We won’t let a slow start get to us, we just work harder.” When asked what she liked the most about playing for White, Vazquez was quick to answer. “She brings out the best in us, she makes us believe in ourselves.”
Catching up with Turner, she was real happy with getting a win in her last home game as well. “Getting the win was important, we want to win every game we play,” she said. When asked what she enjoyed most about her time at Milford Turner responded, “We really like each other on this team, we are always pulling for each other.”
Catch up with Maloney, she commented, “I have so many great memories of being on this team, this is just another one. It was such a special night.”