By TJ Millman
Just one year ago, the Milford Boys Basketball Team only managed to break 50 points 6 times over their 20 game season. This year, the Bucs have scored 76 points in each of their first two games of the season, picking up wins in both. Milford beat Seaford in their home opener by a score of 76-42 and then traveled to Sussex Academy to pick up a 76-16 win. Despite Milford’s offensive explosion, the most notable aspect of their game has been the defense.
“We started off with a defensive mindset from day one. From tryouts and really into the first two weeks of practice, it was all defense. We didn’t do any offense. We were trying to instill that defensive mentality and really show our guys what our plan is to succeed this year,” Milford Head Coach Lamarr Shorts said.
This is Shorts’ first year as Milford Head Coach, and he was excited to get things started with a win.
“I mean, I’m not worried about me, but it’s good for the guys to start this season off with a win. We’ve still got a lot of work to do from here though. We can play a lot better than we did tonight. A score isn’t always indicative of how the game went, and we saw plenty of things that we need to work on going forward,” Shorts said.
Milford started the game playing a little loose with the ball, but a few fast breaks in the first quarter gave Milford a 19-13 lead at the end of one. In the second quarter, the Bucs managed to keep up their aggressive defense while slowing down their offense for more quality looks. Milford outscored Seaford 25-7 in the second quarter and went into halftime with a 44-20 lead.
While everyone got involved for the Bucs, seniors Daniel Shockley, Tyron Mifflin, and Dion Warner each stood out on the night. Shockley was a scoring machine, Mifflin was all over the court defensively, and Warner was just as likely to drain a 3 as he was to hit the open man for a quality look. Shorts was not surprised that any of those guys stood out.
“Those guys are seniors, and I expect that of them. It’s early in the season and we have a new coach, new guys, new program, new year…we need all of our seniors to have that leadership, and I’m not surprised that you saw that from those guys,” Shorts said.
Milford played sloppy in the third, getting almost too aggressive on defense and allowing themselves to play too fast on offense again. Seaford outscored the Bucs 14-12 on the quarter, but in the fourth Milford managed to settle back in and finish the game on a 20-8 run. Though the Bucs eventually won by 34 points, Shorts would like to see a more disciplined form of defense from his guys.
“We want to work on our defense without fouling. I thought the referees were great tonight, and they let us play, but not everyone is going to do that. We need to not ride that line of almost fouling on defense and work to get better at that every day,” Shorts said.
The Bucs get back to action on Tuesday, December 11 on the road at Delmar. The game is set to tip-off at 5:45 PM.
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