By Kevin Eickman
Going into the season, first year coach Bob Spath had set the goals of winning the Henlopen South and winning some games in the State tournament. While the Henlopen Conference Coach of The Year accomplished the first goal, this past Wednesday Milford came up well short of the second.
Milford got off to a fast start, probably too fast a start. Instead of the characteristic ball movement that Buccaneer fans had become accustomed to seeing, Milford was pushing the ball up the court as they quickly opened up a 14-6 advantage with just over two minutes remaining in the opening quarter. What happened over the next 10 minutes was anything but pretty. “When we came out fast like that, we were actually playing into their hands a bit,” Spath said. “We are really about controlling the flow of the game and when we don’t do that bad things happen.”
The visiting Cougars would go on a 19-3 run and turn the previous deficit into a 25-17 halftime advantage. When the teams started the third quarter, Milford found themselves in trouble right away as the Cougars scored the first three baskets of the second half. Spath would call a time out to try and stop the bleeding, but it was too late.
Milford simply had no answer for Delcastle on Wednesday and the result would be their largest defeat of the season. While the loss is disheartening, there are a great many positives to take away from this season. In their first year under coach Spath, this was a team that improved as the year went on. While there were certainly ups and downs along the way, this looks to be a young team on the rise.
Speaking with Spath following the game, even with the bad loss he was upbeat about the direction of the team. “While we didn’t do everything we wanted to, we really wanted to get a victory in the State tournament this year,” Spath stated. “That was something we really wanted to do this year, because it is experience we can use going forward.”
Going forward is just what this team should be doing next season. While a 12-8 record may not be all that impressive, the fact that only one of the five starters, senior Shakur Akins will not be back next season bodes well for the future. With a year of experience under their belts, this promises to be a very exciting team next season. “Everything we learned this season we will be able to use going forward,” Spath said. “There is a lot of talent on this team and we learned a lot of valuable lessons this year, those will serve us well.”