Burton and Whittington play spoiler on Millers' Senior Night (VIDEO HERE!)
Prior to the tip-off of Friday night’s game against Catonsville High, Milford Mill honored their eight girls’ basketball seniors with a brief, emotional Senior Night ceremony. Millers’coach DeToiya McAililey introduced each graduating player with a few heartfelt words and as the young ladies received flowers and balloons, posed for photos and then met one another at halfcourt, they hugged and wiped away tears.
Once the game started, Taylor Barton and Zoey Whittington set an early tone for the Comets that Milford Mill could not overcome with emotion. The duo combined to score 10 of Catonsville’s first 12 points, spearheading a balanced attack in a 63-51 victory in the latest installment of the VSN/Fox 45 Game of the Week.
“The way that we play as a team, if you’re running the court and working hard, we’ll find you,” said Whittington, who’s mulling scholarship offers from Jacksonsville University, Pitt and Cincinnati for track. “If you get the rebound, pass to the point guard and run the floor, that ball is going to get to you. We execute the pass in our offense because we know that a pass will get there faster than a dribble.”
Milford Mill’s full court press and half-court defense were easily out-maneuvered by Catonsville’s excellent spacing, crisp passing and patient offensive execution.
“Our motto is that we play as a team, passing and distributing the ball well,” said Barton. “We knew that, coming into this game, teamwork and heart were going to be the keys. We had good shot selection tonight. People were giving up good shots to get the ball to other teammates who were in even better position.”
The Comets (16-6 overall, 7-2 in Baltimore County 3A/4A) never trailed after Whittington’s opening basket. But as she sat on the bench early in the second quarter after picking up two fouls within the game’s first five minutes, Milford Mill began to fight back.
Trailing 21-9, Milford Mill (7-11, 4-3 3A/4A) ripped off a 9-0 run to pull within three with less than five minutes remaining before halftime. Catonsville answered with a 6-0 run before Millers closed to 32-26 at intermission.
“I told the girls at halftime that we were scoring enough points, but we were giving up too many,” said Comets coach Mike Mohler.
In the third quarter, Catonsville seemed to take heed to their coach’s words as its defense stiffened, limiting Milford Mill to only six points, stretching the lead to 16. The Millers rallied to score 19 points in the fourth quarter, but could not get the tough defensive stops when they needed them the most.
“It was a very emotional evening because most of our seniors have been with us for a long period of time,” said McAililey. “But we lost this game tonight on the defensive end. We have to rebound and not allow ourselves to be back-screened. We worked on it a lot at practice but didn’t bring that into the game, so that’s disheartening.
I know we need to step some things up because if we play like this in the playoffs, we’re not going to go far. We need to defend, communicate, move the ball and have better recognition on the floor.”
Barton led all scorers with 21 points, while Whittington and Deb Malani added 10 points apiece for the Comets. Rachel Scwaab also chipped in with nine points. Bria Barnes led Milford Mill with 13 points and also tallied five assists and four rebounds. Alexis Ford added eight points and eight rebounds.
“Our defense and rebounding were keys tonight,” said Mohler. “Another key was the way that we broke their pressure and how well we played as a team, distributing the ball and getting it up the floor to get some easy looks. I really like the way the ball was moving to all of the kids.”
Last Updated (Saturday, 12 February 2011 09:48)