The game was there for the taking, but so were several others that the Dulaney boys basketball team let slip away during a 10-game losing streak to Milford Mill that spanned 12 years.
Why would this night be any different?
Because as Dulaney coach Matt Lochte said, with another game on the line in front of a gym full of people, the Lions “played a full 32 minutes and well from start to finish.”
Senior guard scored Alex Kassolis scored a game-high 30 points on senior night and Dulaney (15-5) won for the first time over the visiting Millers Wednesday night since January of 2004 in an 84-71 victory.
“Beating Milford Mill is huge,” Lochte said. “It’s a big county rivalry and we have had some absolute classic games over the years. And it’s really feels good to get this win. Obviously, they have been on the good side on so many of the wins.”
Senior point guard Lamont Sanders (17) and senior guard Joey O’Dwyer (14) also scored in double figures for the winners.
Dulaney junior guard Cole Harshman totaled 11 points and 11 rebounds and freshman guard Jaylen Wiggins had 10 assists.
Senior guard DeMarco Lee led Milford Mill with 23 points and senior guard Dominique Miller added 20 points.
Dulaney hit 54 percent (26-for-48) of its shots and went 25-for-35 from the free throw line.
Milford Mill (11-7) struggled from the line, going 11-for-23.
Dulaney jumped out to an 18-11 lead in the first seven minutes thanks to its three-point shooting. Kassolis and O’Dwyer each hit two during that stretch.
The Lions boosted their lead to 25-13 in the first minute of the second quarter when Kassolis opened the period with back-to-back treys.
He had 14 points at halftime as Dulaney held a 35-24 advantage at that point.
Kassolis has scored 30 or more points four times this year.
“He’s had an unbelievable season,” Lochte said of a player averaging 23 points a game. “He’s had a dozen plus Division III schools interested in him and a couple of Division II schools. He’s developed late in his high school career.”
Dulaney boosted its lead to 41-26 with 7:01 remaining in the third quarter.
Milford Mill used a 14-4 run to close to 45-40 about three minutes later before Dulaney started to pull away.
“If we made a few more layups and one-and-ones, it would have been a closer game,” Milford Mill coach Ryan Smith said.