No. 12 Milford Mill drops Woodlawn, moves to 3-0; Rheubottom scores 17
by Derek Toney
After a disappointing showing last season, Milford Mill Academy basketball team wants to return to revelance this season. The Millers picked an opportune time Wednesday to make a statement.
No. 12 Milford Mill defeated Woodlawn, 67-56, in a Baltimore County contest inside Debbie Stephans Gym. Drew Rheubottom led the Millers with 17 points and Jermaine Goodwyn and junior Detwan Montague each finished with 14.
The Washington Avenue school shifted momentum with a 20-0 spurt between the second and third quarters before closing out their neighborhood rivals in the fourth to move to 3-0. Kiran Thompson had a game-high 19 points for Woodlawn (1-1).
“It’s always good to beat our rival, but we settled down in the second half,” said Milford Mill coach Ryan Smith. “We got a lot of speed, but we have to learn to use our speed.”
“We knew we had to come out poised,” said Goodwyn. “I told my team let nobody get in their heads and play their game and relax.”
Trailing 31-23 late in the opening half, Milford Mill closed with nine straight to take a 32-31 lead into the locker room. The Millers added 11 more to start the third as Rheubottom scored inside for a 43-31 advantage.
Rheubottom, a transfer from Pikesville along with newcomers Montague (St. Frances Academy) and Sammy Scott (City College) are reasons Milford Mill could be back among the area’s elite this winter. Scott, a 5-foot-7 point guard, dropped a deep three-pointer before the halftime buzzer, giving the Millers big momentum.
“We just had to come together as a team and fight through adversity,” said Scott.
Smith said having a true floor leader in Scott is huge.
“The ball is his the next three years,” said Smith, who’ve known Smith since middle school. “He’s learning though he’s been played a lot of ball. It’s a whole different level playing for me and playing varsity.”
Smith will lean heavily on veterans like Goodwyn, a three-year starter, Trevon Gwaltney and Jason Koger. Gwaltney converted a basket inside off a feed from Montague after Woodlawn had pulled to within 59-52 with 3 minutes, 19 seconds left in regulation.
Tyray Cooper added 17 points for the Warriors, who knocked off then-No. xx Parkville in their season opener. Woodlawn led 15-14 after the opening quarter Wednesday and had the Millers faithful quiet after Cooper ran off eight straight for a 31-23 advantage late in the opening half.
Longtime Warrior coach Bobby Richardson summed up what happened from that point.
“Turnovers. Too many turnovers,” he said. “You can’t have it in a game like this. It’s early to have a big game like this, but our young kids are going to learn quick.”
Woodlawn will play four VSN Top 20 teams over its next six games, starting next week with No. 5 City College at inaugural St. Frances Academy Holiday Showcase. Milford Mill will also be in action at the St. Frances event, playing Delaware’s Salesianum and the second-ranked and reigning MIAA A and Baltimore Catholic League champ Panthers.
Smith is looking for Milford Mill to be a postseason player come March.
“The kids are know each other so it’s a family. We’re just out there playing ball,” said Smith. “The main goal is to be on the Xfinity Center floor on the last day.”
No. 12 Milford Mill Academy 67, Woodlawn 56
Woodlawn – Thompson 19, Cooper 17, Downs 5, Allen 3, Thomas 3, Riggs 6, Rice 3. Totals 22 6-12 56.
Milford Mill – Goodwyn 14, Montague 14, Scott 7, Rhuebottom 17, Young 2, Koger 4, Gwaltney 9. Totals 24 17-25 67.
Woodlawn 15 16 9 16 – 56
Milford Mill 14 18 20 15 – 67