After Milford Mill Academy’s victory over City College in boys’ basketball Saturday evening, Katrell Myers thanked Millers’ coach Albert Holley for starting him.
Milford Mill owes a huge debt of gratitude to Myers.
The junior guard scored 14 points, leading the No. 4 Millers to a 52-45 decision over the sixth-ranked Knights in the final game of the 15th annual Basketball Academy at Coppin State University. Nick Faust led all scorers with 18 points for City.
Milford Mill (10-2 overall) went on an 8-0 fourth quarter run to break a 33-33 tie and was steady enough from the line in the clutch in a battle of defending state champions. The Baltimore County powerhouse knew it had to respond after letting an opportunity Thursday against No. 1 Patterson slip away.
“City always presents a unique challenge because they’re well-coached and dictate pace,” said Holley, whose team is the reigning Class 3A champions. “We had to execute and be smart. We still turned the ball over too many times which allowed them to hang around at the end, but we’ll take the win.”
“We just executed and played our game,” said Myers. “We didn’t lose our heads.”
Making his first start, Myers was front and center in the game’s decisive turn in the fourth. The Millers nearly lost the ball on their end, but recovered and Myers went in for a layup with City’s Christian Johnson getting called for an intentional foul.
Myers converted the free throw for the three-point play and another for the intentional foul. Tevin Hanner added two free throws after grabbing an offensive rebound, giving Milford Mill a 41-33 advantage with five minutes left in regulation.
“When we were down on the other end, he [Johnson] kept saying stuff so I came back and played my game,” said Myers. “I didn’t let it get to my head.”
The Knights (8-5) applied pressure, closing to 41-38 on a jumper by Mike Cheatham, but reserve guard Chase Cormier answered for Millers with a basket. The defending Baltimore County champs closed out City with eight of 12 free throw shooting, atoning for eight misses in the last quarter of Thursday’s 79-75 loss to Patterson.
“We made a lot of mistakes, missed a lot of free throws, layups and too many turnovers,” said Myers referring to Thursday. “We had to execute.”
The Millers were taken aback early by City’s zone, but gained a 22-21 advantage early in the third on a rebound and basket by Myers. City answered with a 10-3 run, capped by two free throws by Faust, for a 31-25 late in third quarter.
But free throw shooting, a season-long albatross, derailed City. The two-time defending Class 2A champs missed 12 attempts Saturday and were erratic in stretches on both ends. City coach Mike Daniel said his team has yet to raise its level of play.
“I don’t think the urgency is there to win, but we have to keep working,” said Daniel, whose team plays at Prince George’s County powerhouse Largo Monday evening. “I value every game and I think we should be doing things better now.
Milford Mill got the win and that’s all that matters. I thought we were in good position and couldn’t hold it. Sometimes you got to that well too many times, it’s going to be dry.”
The proverbial well ran over for Myers, who got the start Saturday to help defend Faust, who’s headed to Maryland. Holley said Myers, who starred for the football during this fall, has been excelling on the practice court and classroom.
“Coach Holley gave me a chance so I did what I had to do,” said Myers. “I didn’t want to let him down.”
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|No. 4 Milford Mill 52, No. 6 City College 45|
|City: Greene 5, Faust 18, Greer 2, Cheatham 9, Amos 3, Rasheed 4, Tapper 4. Totals: 15 11-23 45.|
|Milford Mill: Cormier 5, Smoot 1, McCray 6, Parker 5, Hanner 10, Heard 1, Jackson 4, Myers 14, Miller 6. Totals: 16 21-36 52.|
|Halftime: City 19, Milford Mill 18|