By TJ Millman
After going 0-20 a year ago, the Milford Girls Basketball Team has only one way to go, and they got a good start this past week when they won their scrimmage against Sussex Academy. This was the Lady Bucs’ second scrimmage, and new Head Coach Eric Sudler was really happy with the direction that his team is heading going into the season.
“I think the team is really coming together. We’ve had a lot of opportunities to play together and sort of mesh as a unit. They had a tough season last year, and it showed a little in our first scrimmage. I think tonight they realized that this is a new year with new possibilities. We have a new team, new coach, everything new. I think as we realized that, our mindset shifted and things have really started to improve,” Sudler said.
While Sudler made it clear that this is a new year, he also made sure to note that last year is not something that is hanging over the girls’ heads.
“It really doesn’t come up. Maybe once or twice early in the year, but I tried to discourage that. It’s a new year, and we don’t need that on our back when we’re trying to play. Last year is over, and this is a fresh start from all of that,” Sudler said.
Milford lost to Sussex Academy in the regular season twice last year, 55-46 and 61-31, and even though it was a scrimmage, the Lady Bucs looked more confident in their game. Even more important than their confidence, were the smiles that were plastered on the faces of the girls as they played.
“Everybody assumes that the goal is just a bunch of wins, but I have individual goals for each of my players. I measure success by if they are getting better, on and off the court, and if they are having fun while learning. I can’t necessarily associate a number of wins with that, but as long as our girls are out there and having fun, that will be a success to me. Talking with the girls…last year they were not having fun. If they are having fun and learning, that’s going to be a successful season to me,” Sudler said.
One of Milford’s biggest improvements from a year ago was their ability to get to the basket. Milford’s guards were able to get to the rim, finishing on occasion, but also managing to draw out defenders and then find the open shooter on the perimeter. They also showed some danger from beyond the arc, drilling a few open three-pointers early in the game. Still, the most important improvement is the mentality of the players.
“These girls are just fun. They know how to work, but they love to have a good time. It makes for a great atmosphere when you can go out there with people that you care about and work together to get better and laugh while you do it,” Sudler said.
The Lady Bucs kick off their season on the road against Seaford High School. The game is on Tuesday, December 4 and is set to tip-off at 6:00 PM.
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