By Kevin Eickman
At the start of last week, the Milford boys’ basketball team was sitting at 8-8 after a Saturday win at Saint Mark’s. With the season winding down, this Milford team has started to play with a greater sense of urgency, knowing that a solid run to finish the season could land it in the state tournament. Last Thursday, the Buccaneers had a chance to make it three wins in a row as they hosted Red Lion Christian Academy.
While Milford would win by the impressive score of 72-41, the final score did not even begin to demonstrate the dominance that Milford displayed in the game. The game was truly over in the first quarter as the Buccaneers put the clamps on defensively and on offense, they took advantage of the turnovers they created with numerous fast break opportunities. Even when Red Lion was able to get back on defense and play its 2-1-2 zone, Milford was able to answer it. While the Bucs were able to penetrate the zone, they were also able to shoot over it, making for a deadly offensive combination. Junior Andrew Kravitz and senior Jordan Norman would each record three 3-pointers in the first frame, with Kravitz totaling 15 points in the quarter. “It is really nice when the basket is looking big like it was tonight. We were all feeling it tonight and when that happens, we can be really hard to stop. To start the game the way we did, really shows what we are capable of,” said Kravitz, who was the game’s high scorer with those 15 points.
What Milford was capable of was amassing a 28-5 lead after the first stanza. With a lead of that nature, it enabled Milford to empty the bench and get its younger players significant playing time. With Kravitz and most of the other starters secure on the bench, Milford was still able to maintain the lead it had built. With the younger players on the court, gaining quality minutes it bodes well to where the direction the team is heading. “It was really great to get the younger guys, or guys that don’t get a lot of time lots of game action tonight. That is part of building confidence, because there is no substitute for game action,” Coach Lamarr Shorts said.
One of the game’s more interesting plays came at the beginning of the fourth quarter as sophomore Neysen Legros got the ball on the break and was able to slam it home. It wasn’t just the fans who enjoyed it, all the starters who were cooled down and just sitting on the bench went wild as well. It was exactly what the starters did every time the Buccaneers made a play, they cheered for them very enthusiastically. “You can only start five guys, but you need to understand that the guys that saw minutes tonight earned them. We aren’t five starters and the rest; we are a team. So, we are always pulling for each other, because we all care about each other,” Kravitz said.
This will be a huge week for Milford as it hosts Caesar Rodney Thursday, followed by Sussex Tech Friday (Senior Night). To keep its tournament hopes alive, Milford will undoubtedly need to win both games. While playing back-to-back games is never easy, Coach Shorts believes his team will be up for the challenge. “We are definitely coming together as a squad; we have been playing well the last few games and need to keep it up.” When asked what the key would be for Milford, Shorts didn’t hesitate. “We need to come out like we did tonight. We have come out flat in some games and paid a price for it. I think the team is at a point now where they understand what it takes and hopefully, they will take the lessons they learned this year and put them to good use,” he said.
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