By TJ Millman
After starting the season 5-6, the Milford Buccaneers Girls’ Basketball Team has won six of their last seven games bringing them to 11-7 on the year. Their last victory, this past Tuesday against Laurel, was a display of defensive dominance from the Lady Bucs.
Senior Kiarra Brittingham started off the game by hitting a three-pointer, one of seven total for the Bucs, and brought the crowd into the game early. After the basket, the Bucs went immediately into a full-court press. The Laurel offense was caught off guard and was turned over rather quickly, leading to another Milford bucket. This continued until the score was 10-0 in favor of Milford and Laurel was forced to burn a timeout. Milford kept up the press for almost the entire first half in an impressive display of hard work and conditioning.
Milford Head Coach Leona White was impressed, but not surprised by the level of hard work that she saw from her girls. “My players worked hard and are determined to make it to the playoffs this year,” White said.
After seeing the success of Milford, Laurel tried to implement a full-court press of their own to little success. The Bucs cut through the press like butter and scored on two consecutive layups from senior Tayeler Duffy. Laurel held close to Milford, down only 14 points at the end of the third quarter, until the fourth quarter came and the Lady Bucs took control of the game and ran away with it. After three quarters of hard work, the Bucs were still playing with speed and energy, outscoring Laurel 25 to 8 and finishing with a final score of 71-40.
This was another stepping stone for the Bucs as they move one step closer to their ultimate goal of the state tournament. Milford started the season with ten out of their first twelve games on the road, and Coach White attributes her team’s recent success to a stretch of home games.
“It is always special to play at home in front of your own family and fans,” she said. Looking at the record for Milford, her words ring true. The Bucs have won 7 of the 8 games played in their own gym, with their only loss coming to an 18-1 Caesar Rodney team.
It was Senior Night for the Bucs and the seniors showed up to play in the biggest of ways. Milford’s seniors scored 68 of the team’s 71 points and put on a show for their fans in the Central Academy Gym. Senior Rajene Bowe scored 15 points and looked like a safety picking off passes. Senior Tyra Mifflin contributed to the defensive effort as well while scoring 9 points for her team. Senior Jameisha Baker led her team in scoring, hitting 4 shots from behind the arc and scoring a total of 18 points. Senior Tayeler Duffy was a force to be reckoned with in the post and added 13 points of her own. Lastly, senior Kiarra Brittingham orchestrated the offense while chipping in an additional 13 points.
Milford’s seniors looked like a cohesive unit, playing together with an ease of familiarity. This familiarity extends from the players to their coach as well. “I have coached this group of young ladies for 7 years. I was with them for 3 years in middle school and all 4 years of high school and we have developed a special bond,” White said. Through teamwork and sheer hard work the Lady Bucs will be a team to watch out for if they get in the state tournament.
The Lady Bucs will look to keep their playoff dreams alive with a games against Seaford on Friday, February 17 and against Sussex Tech on Monday, February 21.
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