By Kevin Eickman
To say that the Milford girls’ basketball team had not been living up to expectations prior to hosting Seaford this past Thursday, would be an understatement. For a team that has set their sights on winning the Henlopen South, Milford has simply not shown the form to warrant such expectations. Coming off a pair of losses the previous week, the Buccaneers entered the game with a paltry 4-5 (3-3) record. In the eyes of Milford coach Leona White, something had to change .
“I really felt that we were just not focused the way we needed to be, we weren’t playing up to our potential,” White stated. Pressing the reset button and getting everyone back on the same page, proved to be just what Milford needed as Milford throttled the visiting Blue Jays 66-27.
Thursday was a game which saw Milford impose their will from the very start. Pressing up on their opponents and getting getting out on the break. In a tempo very much to the Bucs liking, Milford was able to jump ahead and stay there the entire game, right from the opening tip. In first quarter that went by in a blur, Milford would score the first twelve points of the contest, not allowing the first Seaford basket until five minutes had passed in the quarter. By the time the clock hit zero on the first stanza, Milford found themselves comfortably in front 21-5.
“We really wanted to come out fast tonight and we were able to do that,” White commented. “When we can get out and run like we did, good things happen and that really showed tonight.”
While the offense would slow down a bit in the second quarter, the Buccaneers still outscored their opponents 8-6, heading into the locker room with a 29-11 advantage.
The Buccaneers put their foot back on the gas and settled the issue early in the second half, as they outscored the visitors 24-7 in the third quarter. Coming out of the locker room ready to play was important for Milford, even though they knew they had a big lead to start the half.
“One thing we need to be better at is pressing the issue when we have the advantage,” said White. “That is exactly what we did tonight, it was great to see.”
Milford senior Rajene Bowe scored 21 points in the game, with fellow senior Kiarra Brittingham chipping in 18 of her own. It was the kind of scoring White was looking for from this senior heavy squad. “We need these girls to put the ball in the basket and tonight they did a great job of doing just that,” White said. “When those girls are going well, it makes us so much better.”
Speaking with senior Brianna Cahall following the game, it is clear that she believes Milford has what it takes to continue to improve. “It hasn’t been easy for us up to this point, but we have a lot of players who know how to play. We are not the type of team to give up and that really showed out here tonight.”
White believes that there is plenty of season left and has the feeling that her team may have turned the corner. “We may not have gotten off to the start we wanted, but we also have more than half the season left,” White said. “We just have to play like we did tonight and we can find a way to make the tournament.”
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