Milford Mill upends No. 10 Woodlawn for 3A Elite Eight berth; Goodwin scores 28 (VIDEO HERE!)
by Nelson Coffin
Three-pointers once again pointed the way forward for Milford Mill Academy’s boys’ basketball team on Wednesday night in the Class 3A North Section I final against Woodlawn High School.
The No. 8 Millers went long-range early and often in a solid 73-63 triumph over the Baltimore County champion and 10th-ranked Warriors, who did some pretty nice work themselves behind the arc in a contest played in a hot gym with a large and loud crowd on hand.
While Milford Mill sank 11 three-balls, including six by leading scorer Jordan Goodwin (28 points), Woodlawn cashed in eight times from downtown to make a game of it until the Millers pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Milford Mill (19-3 overall) will travel to Dundalk on Friday to meet the 19th-ranked Owls, who squeaked by C. Milton Wright, 61-60, in the Section II final Wednesday.
The winner of that showdown will earn a trip to a state semifinal at the Xfinity Center in College Park on March 8.
On Wednesday, neither team could muster much of anything, offensive-wise, in a low-scoring first quarter.
After that, though, the shooters started to zero in on their target — especially Goodwin, who nailed three straight bombs to carry his team from a 15-12 deficit to a 21-15 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the first half.
The Millers never trailed again after that barrage, successfully rebuffing a Woodlawn rally fueled by a running bank shot by freshman power forward Marlon Lewis and a three-pointed by senior shooting guard Reshaud Garrison that brought the Warriors (21-4) to within a basket midway through the third quarter.
That spurt was met quickly and with authority by Ugo Obasi’s stick-back and three-pointer to build the lead back to 43-36. The Milford Mill senior guard/forward finished the game with 21 points and a team-best seven rebounds.
Woodlawn would slice the lead to four twice, first on a put-back by senior small forward Demauri Warren and then on two free throws by senior point guard Mark Brinkley.
Both times, Milford Mill (19-3) answered the challenge.
A nice reverse by senior forward Eric Turner negated Warren’s put-back and a Goodwin swish from way outside pushed the Millers’ lead to 50-43.
Another Warren put-back closed the gap momentarily until a slam and a free throw by Milford Mill senior forward Kevin Ufua and yet another three-ball by Goodwin punched up the advantage to 56-45 with just under five minutes left in regulation.
Goodwin said that the Millers were not going to let the game get away like the way the county championship slipped through their fingers for using an ineligible player.
“It was win or go home, and we didn’t want to go home,” Goodwin said. “This was our county championship — a pride thing.”
That missed opportunity to claim the county championship by a team that went unbeaten in county play — except for the forfeit — was a bad feeling that the Millers wanted to overcome, according to senior point guard Ahmed Milton.
“We felt that not being in the county championship really hurt us,” said Milton, who had a team-leading 10 assists in the triumph. “So that gave us more fuel for this game. We played this game like it was the county championship.”
Milton, who plays every game hard, has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches for his determination and skill in running the offense and finding the hot hand.
“We call him our ‘Little General,’ “ Milford Mill coach Kevin Smith said. “He’s little, but he’s got a big heart. We trust him.”
CLASS 3A NORTH REGION BOYS’ BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS
SECTION I FINAL
NO. 8 MILFORD MILL ACADEMY 73, NO. 10 WOODLAWN 63
WHS 8 13 18 24 — 63
MMA 9 19 17 28 — 73
WOODLAWN: Mark Brinkley 19, Demauri Warren 17, Reshaud Garrison 14, Jamar Blakeney 1, Marlon Lewis 12. TOTALS: 21 13-18 63.
MILFORD MILL: Jordan Goodwin 28, Ugo Obasi 21, Eric Turner 6, Ahmed Milton 6, Jermaine Goodwyn 1, Kevin Ufua 5, Darius Woods 6. TOTALS: 21 19-28 73.