This time a year ago, Nick Smoot was playing basketball for Cardinal Gibbons High School with no idea he would be a part of history. A few weeks after season’s end, it was announced that Cardinal Gibbons was closing at the end of the school year. Smoot was a member of the final varsity team of the storied program.
Tuesday afternoon, Smoot walked onto the floor for his first varsity game with Milford Mill with hopes of making some good memories. He got off to a great start as the No. 6 Millers rolled past Mervo, 52-24, at the Spark at the Park Mixer at Forest Park.
Smoot led all scorers with 13 points for the defending Class 3A state champ Millers (1-0 overall), and Colgate University-bound guard Isaiah McCray finished with 11. Duane Smith had six points to lead Mervo (0-1).
The Baltimore County power staked out to a 24-4 advantage after the first quarter, and 43-17 at halftime, leading to a running clock over the final two quarters. The Millers, who won their 14 straight decision dating back to last season, can thanks for Smoot for the fast start.
The 6-foot guard scored all of his points in the first half, including three three-pointers. Milford Mill coach Al Holley said the Gibbons transplant will be a key this winter.
“He can shoot the basketball, and we encouraged him to shoot,” said Holley. “When he’s making the shots, he makes us a completely different team.”
He didn’t have much a role with them [Gibbons] last year, and he has a good role with us. I think it’s energized him.”
Smoot was one of 11 underclassmen on last season’s roster for the Crusaders, who were led by Dylon Cormier, now starting as a freshman for Loyola University. Smoot said he’s adjusting to having an important role.
“At Cardinal Gibbons, it was slow it down and run the offense,” said Smoot, who has former Gibbons teammate Troy Parker with him at Milford Mill. “Here [Milford Mill] we want to get out on the break and score, and play hard defense.”
Smoot nailed his three three-pointers in the first quarter, combining with McCray to score 18 in the first quarter. The Millers gained their lead at 49-18 after a pair of free throws by Katrell Myers.
“He was hot out the gate so I had to look for him,” said McCray, a 6-foot-1 point guard. “I’m glad we got this win and made a statement.”
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|No. 6 Milford Mill 52, Mervo 24|
|Mervo: Erickson 4, Myers 2, Rhone 4, Scott 4, Wallace 4, Smith 6. Totals: 8 8-12 24.|
|Milford Mill: Smoot 13, McCray 11, Amaya 2, Hanner 4, Heard 5, Jackson 7, Myers 6, Miller 4. Totals: 19 8-18 52.|
|Halftime: Milford Mill 43, Mervo 17|