By Kevin Eickman
It all seemed to be going according to plan this past Thursday as the Lady Bucs basketball team hosted their cross county rival Lake Forest. Riding a strong first quarter, which featured solid, if not spectacular defense for the Buccaneers, Milford had cruised their was to a 12-5 lead as the opening stanza came to a close. There was little reason to believe that Milford was about to face their toughest test of the young season.
As the second quarter got underway, it looked as if Milford was about to keep dishing out the punishment to the visiting Spartans. Midway through the period however, the Buccaneers went through a stretch where their offense missed on a few opportunities. With Milford not playing up to par, the Lake offense began to gain a little confidence. The Spartans would wind up outscoring Milford in the quarter 13-12, with the Buccaneers heading to the locker room with a 24-18 advantage.
What followed the halftime visit to the locker room, was nothing but disappointing for Milford. With each passing possession, the offense looked lost. The passing was poor and the shooting was even more suspect, with Milford turning in their worst quarter of the season. By the time the dust had settled and the teams began the fourth quarter, Milford found themselves tied at 26, with nobody to blame but themselves for their predicament.
“I’m getting too old for this, it’s just not the way we are trying to play the game,” coach Leona White said of the two point third quarter.
Prior to the start of the fourth quarter, White had a talk with her squad. “I told them that we had to get it together, get back to running our offense the way we should,” she stated. To start the fourth quarter, Milford senior Jonae Boone was left open on the left side, just behind the three point arch. The shot hit nothing but the bottom of the net and all at once it looked as if all the pressure had been lifted from the shoulders of the Buccaneers “That shot was big, it lit a fire for us,” White stated.
Following the basket, Milford was off to the races. The defense turned on their characteristic intensity, while the offense began to impose their will on the visiting Spartans. Key to the Milford run was the play of senior Kala Fluitt, who demonstrated a strong presence in the paint, despite not being the tallest of players. Fluitt would finish the game with 16 points and was pleased that Milford was able to overcome the third quarter slump .
“We just needed to get focused, play as a team.” Fluitt stated. When asked about her work in the paint, Fluitt offered praise for her coach. “Coach taught me well, I try and use all the tools she gave me and work hard for the team,” said Fluitt.
Milford would outscore Lake 24-14 in the fourth quarter, earning themselves a 50-40 victory. With the win Milford now has a 3-0 record, with a 2-0 record in the Henlopen South.