By Kevin Eickman
This past Tuesday, the Milford girls’ basketball team suffered their first loss of the season. Hosting Caesar Rodney in their home opener, the young Lady Bucs were over matched. Falling behind early, Milford never seemed to get it going. The first half ended with Milford facing a 31-19 deficit, one that they would not be able to overcome.
The biggest challenge that Milford faced on Tuesday was overcoming the Caesar Rodney press. All game long Milford had difficulty with it and it is an area that Milford coach Leona White knows that her team needs to work on. “We had a real tough time on Tuesday. Handling the press is something we have got to work on getting better at,” White commented. “We know that we are young and this is just one of many things we need to work on.”
Following the 58-45 loss on Tuesday, Milford hosted Delmar on Thursday. A key barometer when it comes to evaluating young teams is how the respond to a loss. Milford responded with a solid defensive performance, shutting down the Wildcats in the games opening quarter and never looking back. Milford turned up the heat and by the time the dust had settled, the Buccaneers had jumped out to a 20-3 lead.
Milford was never seriously tested on their way to an easy 56-24 victory. The win was important coming off the previous defeat. Speaking with junior captain Jonae Boone after the game, she felt it was a big step for the Bucs as well. “Nobody likes to lose, and we wanted to get back to winning tonight,” said Boone. “We came out kind of flat on Monday, that is not the way we want to play. Tonight we came out ready to play and it showed.”
Boone, who had a game high 16 points on Thursday believes that Milford has yet to play their best game. “We have a lot of areas that we can improve in, our passing is still not where it needs to be right now,” said Boone. “We know we can get better and we know we are going to have to work very hard to do it.”
Talking with coach White following Thursday’s game, it is clear that she feels Milford has lots of work to do as well. “We played a little more aggressive tonight, but we did not do it for all four quarters,” commented White.“We are a young team, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of intensity that we have seen from time to time.”
Besides intensity, White believes that there are other areas that need improvement as well. “Our passing and play running in the offensive zone is not where we need it to be,” White stated. “We are at the beginning right now, we have a lot of work to do to get where we want to be.”
Milford will play in the Pat Borowski tournament over the winter break, resuming the regular season on January 5th at Padua. Milford was eliminated from last years tournament by Padua.