By Kevin Eickman
It is not uncommon for a team to take on the persona of their coach. In the case of the Milford girls’ basketball team, there is little doubt this is occurring. With a comfortable lead late in the game at Lake Forest, Milford players were still diving after loose balls, still playing tenacious defense. If you have ever watched coach Leona White on the Milford bench, you know that she is a play it to the end type of person.
By the start of the second half Milford had worked their advantage to almost 20 points, but the pressure defense that was being applied began to take its toll. Milford players began to accumulate fouls, and with it came concern. “It was scary, starting in the first half, half of my guards were in foul trouble,” White said.
As the third quarter was coming to a close Milford senior Xitali Roman found herself a seat on the bench, due to fouling out. Lake began to close the gap in the fourth quarter and White was forced to turn to sophomore Rajene Bowe to try and stop the bleeding. Bowe responded with seven fourth quarter points along with some key rebounds. The result settled down the Buccaneers and seemed to restore order. “I told her to play defense and get some rebounds, that is just what she did after she got in the game.” White stated.
Milford’s Jonae Boone led all scorers with 19 points. The Buccaneers will be looking for Boone to be a leader on the court this season. “Jonae had an outstanding game. I asked her to step up this year and she is doing just that.”
After earning the Henlopen South title last season, Milford knows that it will not be easy to repeat. With a target on their backs, White believes that Milford handled the pressure well in their first game. “I think we did an excellent job handling it tonight, and I think Lake is going to be one of the toughest teams we face in the conference,” said White.
Discussing this year’s squad with White, she is happy with what she has seen to this point. “I like our offense and our pressure D, that’s our money maker.” While winning the Conference might be a tough task, winning the Henlopen South Division is a goal that White has set for her team. “Winning the South is something we definitely want to do,” White stated.
While her team is off to a good start, White also knows that there is a lot of work to be done based on Friday’s game “We need to be working on ball control, the pace of the game and their passing. Just those things.” White stated.
Milford plays this Tuesday, December 9 at Laurel, tip is set for 5 pm.