After nearly three years, No. 3 Walbrook played its first home game yesterday at the Walbrook Junction location, defeating No. 13 Milford Mill, 64-49.
The previous game played on Walbrook's home court was on Feb. 16, 1988, as the Warriors ran past Edmondson, 105-82. Then-Vice President George Bush was battling for the nomination of the Republican Party and the Winter Olympics were taking place in Calgary, Alberta.
None of the current Warriors has played on the court. But yesterday, they had no problems adapting to their "new" home, after playing their previous home contests at the New Community College of Baltimore.
"It's a mystique in here," said Walbrook coach Gus Herrington. "When they had to dig down, they got that burst of energy and Milford Mill looked like they went down a little."
The Warriors turned up their defensive pressure in the second half, holding the Millers (1-1) to 18 points and forcing 10 turnovers.
It did not help Milford Mill that 6-foot-7 sophomore center Norman Nolan was in foul trouble, allowing Walbrook more freedom near the basket.
Nolan still scored a game-high 25 points, but 18 of those came before halftime. He also had nine rebounds, lifting Milford to a 30-29 halftime lead, but he picked up his fourth personal foul with 1 minute, 13 seconds left in the third quarter and Walbrook promptly stretched its 41-33 lead with a 12-3 run.
"What really got us going was attitude," said senior guard Antwan Wingo, a transfer from St. Frances. "Our minds were focused on winning and we played better together as a unit after the talk at halftime."
Tied at 19 after the first period, the Millers outscored Walbrook, 9-2, using a half-court press. Nolan provided much of the offense as Milford forged to a 28-21 lead.
The Warriors rallied, however, scoring the final six points of the second period on baskets by Shamar Bass, Sean Evans and Andre Rafus.
Nolan hit the first basket of the second half, but Milford did not score again until Ronald Coleman's three-pointer with 45 seconds remaining in the period.