Milford Mill guard Dionna White put on a show in Thursday's Class 3A state semifinal.
White helped the No. 4 Millers take command early and picked them up when they faded late, finishing with a game-high 32 points in a 75-53 victory over Westlake at Towson University's SECU Arena.
Milford Mill has won 13 straight and will make its first trip to the finals in eight years when they play Damascus Saturday at 8 p.m. The Millers are hoping to improve their championship game luck — they won a title in 2005, but lost their other seven appearances in the finals.
White helped Milford Mill (25-1) to a 26-point first quarter. Later, White stopped a Westlake (22-4) rally by scoring 10 of 13 Millers points for a 61-41 lead early in the fourth.
Milford Mill dominated play in the first half en route to a 41-29 halftime lead. Westlake went to full-court pressure during the third quarter, which threw the Millers out of their rhythm and helped the Wolverines cut the lead to 47-40.
But White helped Milford Mill settle down. She made two straight baskets and then went the length of the floor to sink a running jumper as time ran out for a 54-40 lead. White scored 10 points in the quarter.
The Millers started quickly, dominating at both ends of the floor in the opening period and racing to a 26-9 lead.
Westlake came out in a 2-3 zone defense, but Milford Mill shot over it and made three 3-pointers. The Millers also worked their way inside and found holes that let them get good shots several times.
That's a big reason why Milford Mill was able to go on a 23-2 run and take a 26-6 lead late in the first quarter. White scored 10 of her points in the opening period, and Kelli Smoot added eight more.
The Millers also constantly disrupted the Wolverine offense. The Milford Mill often double-teamed the ball around the top of the key and forced nine turnovers, several of which they turned into layups.
The second quarter brought more of the same, and even though the Millers weren't quite as dominant and had to battle through some foul trouble, it took a 41-29 halftime lead.
Qierra Murray carried the Millers in that second period, drilling two long 3-pointers and scoring 10 of the team's 15 points. White added four more and finished the first half with 14 points.
The Millers scored 19 of their 41 first-half points off of turnovers, a big reason for their big lead.
Westlake finished with 27 TOs and MM got 33 points off of them.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun