Milford Mill senior guard Dominique Miller and the Millers (3-5) defense suffocated host Western Tech in overtime and outscored them 14-2 to emerge with a 56-44 victory Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-2 Miller (13 points) had six points in the overtime, including a dunk with 14 seconds left to slam the door.
“Coach told us we’ve got to play hard defense and trap the ball,” Miller said. “We got some good steals on them and good fast break points and that’s what made them get out of the game.”
Western Tech (5-2) had tied the game 42-42 on a three-pointer by Tyrell Moseley (17 points, 15 rebounds) with 1:22 left in regulation and neither team scored in the final 82 seconds.
Twenty seconds into overtime Miller scored for a 44-42 lead ,but neither team scored for over two minutes until junior Jamal McDermott fed Malcolm Bristol for a layup with 1:21 left to make it 46-42.
Two free throws by Western Tech’s Asim Scipio with 50 seconds left were the Wolverines only overtime points as Milford close out the final 50 seconds with an 8-0 run.
Miller started the run with two free throws and added a steal in the backcourt on the Wolverines next possession and Damarco Lee had six points in the overtime.
“My two coaches just told me to take my time and follow through just like I do in practice and they went in,” said Miller of the free throws.
“He’s our leading scorer and it took him a while to get warmed up, but he got it eventually,” Milford Mill coach Ryan Smith said.
Western Tech led 8-0 early in the game thanks to treys from Isaac Iyoriobhe (15 points, 6 rebounds) and Jamal Richards and a layup from Moseley.
But Milford cut the deficit to 12-9 at the end of the quarter and eventually tied it at 22-22 at the half despite 10 first-half points from Moseley.
“We started out in our zone defense and we were a little lazy,” Smith said. “We went to the full-court press and started waking up and getting turnovers.”
Western Tech’s Iyoriobhe scored six points in the third quarter sparking the Wolverines to a 34-29 lead at the break.
But, Milford’s pressure defense intensified and they took the lead with Miller scoring four and Brice Moore, Kaii Gilliam, Bristol and McDermott all getting field goals in the final quarter.
Western Tech rallied to tie in the final period despite missing all five free throw attempts.
They finished just 8 of 19 from the foul line, but coach Mike Slepesky was more concerned with their struggle to play a complete game.
“Tonight I feel like we played good as a team and unfortunately Milford Mill play great and I feel like specifically in that final minute and 30 seconds. I give a lot of credit to Milford Mill for having a great finish to that game,” Slepesky said.
Milford Mill 56
Miller 13, Lee 12, McDermott 7, Gilliam 7 Moore 5, Bristol 6 Winfield 4 Harris 2. FG 22 FT 8-14
Moseley 17, Iyoriobhe 15, Richards 5, Scipio 5, George 2 . FG 15 FT 8-19