Dulaney used an aggressive pressing defense to force 15 Milford Mill turnovers and build a comfortable halftime lead and then sophomore Ike Cornish went on a scoring binge in the third quarter to extend the lead and the visiting No. 5 Lions (7-1) routed Milford Mill, 91-63 on Wednesday night.
Cornish scored 19 of his team-high 26 points in the third quarter, when Dulaney turned a 41-22 lead at the half into a 73-45 bulge after three quarters.
Cornish scored 16 of his points after the Millers had cut the deficit to 45-31, following a layup by Jermaine Goodwyn (team-high 26 points) with 6:26 left in the third quarter.
Cornish started his third-quarter scoring frenzy with a three-pointer with 6:02 left.
He followed that with four two-point field goals and three free throws.
“I saw he was going off,” said Dulaney sophomore guard Ryan Conway, who finished with 25 points. “He’s a great player, great teammate to have, one of my good friends on the court.”
Conway had his own scoring streak in the first half, when he scored 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter.
“Ryan is a talented player, it’s only a matter of time when he is going to go on one of those runs where he is going to hit back-to-back threes, get a steal, convert or make free throws,” Dulaney coach Matt Lochte said.
Dulaney’ s zone press defense set the tone early and Conway contributed four steals in the second quarter.
“We got a lot of steals today and it turned into transition buckets,” Conway said. “I think that is where our game is at our best is when we are in transition.”
When the Millers did beat the press, rim protector Che Evans was there, swatting six shots and scoring nine of his 19 points in the first half.
Reserve guard Jaylin Webster added seven points in the second quarter and Cameron Amoruso added four steals in the first half for the Lions.
Junior forward Cameron Byers (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Lions.
Seniors Derrick Shoats (12 points) and Darius Woods (11 points) were the only other Millers, besides Goodwyn, in double figures.
“This is a great win,” Lochte said. “Milford has won six or seven county titles in the last 10 years, they’ve won three state titles in the last 10 years. They lost in the state title game to an excellent Poly team by one in the state title game last year, so this is a good team.”
Lochte was proud of his team’s ability to overcome its free throw shooting (22-for-40), that including a 50 percent rate (6 of 12) in the first half.
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“Free throws have been our Achilles heel all year long,” he said. “It’s something we work on daily.”
Without the charity strip mishaps, the Lions were a finely-tuned machine.
“I thought tonight there were times where we didn’t play together as one unit great, but the moments where we did play together as one unit, we were outstanding,” Lochte said.