By Kevin Eickman
Milford 54 Cape Henlopen 49
Following last week’s tough divisional loss to Woodbridge, the Milford Buccaneers basketball team was a bit concerned. In that loss, Milford battled foul trouble the entire game and never really seemed to be in the flow of the game. With highly regarded Cape Henlopen coming to town this past Tuesday, Milford needed to turn things around quickly to prevent the train from coming off the tracks.
Milford got off to a fast start, jumping out to a 16-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. The fast start was something that haunted Milford in the Woodbridge loss and head coach Bob Spath was happy with how Milford came out of the blocks. “Up against Cape, we were really on the attack from the start. We needed to set the tone and we did that tonight,” Spath stated.
Cape was not going to go down quietly however and came storming back in the second period, rapidly closing in on the Bucs. By the time the second quarter came to a close, the Buccaneers’ lead was trimmed to 25-24. By the end of the third period the matter was all square and Milford was looking at starting the season at 1-2.
The Buccaneers would respond in the fourth quarter, with senior Brion Murray leading the charge on his way to a game high 21 points on the evening. In the end Milford would come away with a hard fought victory against a very talented opponent. “When you have a team like Cape come in here, you know it is going to be a challenge,” Spath said. “Our guys were big down the stretch, just like we needed them to be. That was a real good way to close out a tough opponent.”
Lake Forest 43 Milford 38
Following their big victory against Cape, Milford was looking to build on the momentum they created as they hosted Lake Forest. While there is little doubt that Lake would present a challenge, a team looking to make a run at a third consecutive Henlopen South title should have been able to handle them. In the first half, while Milford did not shine, they did hold their own. The teams ended the half and it looked as if it would just be a matter of time before the Buccaneers would shake off the cobwebs following the big win against Cape.
The third quarter however, unfolded in a way that nobody in attendance would have expected. Both teams were as cold as the outside weather, with neither side able to find the basket in a third period that produced just two points a team.
In the fourth quarter the teams seemed to awaken from their slumber, with Lake able to take the lead. Milford found themselves trailing 35-33 with 5:10 remaining in the game, when Murray would connect on a three-pointer to give Milford the lead 36-35. The lead would be Milford’s last as they did not make a field goal the rest of the game. The Buccaneers had their chances, but could not find any kind of scoring touch. At the end of the game, they were left searching for answers.
“It is real difficult when you can’t make your shots. It happens sometimes, but the opportunities were there and we did not step up when the game was there for the taking,” said Spath. “We need to learn from this, we have to play four quarters every game, we can’t let games like this slip away.”
Things do not get any easier this week as 2-2 Milford will host 4-0 and Number one ranked Smyrna this Tuesday. Tip is set for 6:15.
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