Last season, Milford Mill coach Homer Seidel let his mind overrule his heart and left sophomore Keon Sellman on the junior varsity. Sellman led the Millers to the county 2A-1A JV title.
Last night, Sellman showed Seidel why the decision to keep him on varsity this year wasn't quite as tough.
Sellman scored 31 points, shot well from inside and outside, and led the No. 11 Millers (1-0, 1-0) to an 81-72 victory over Sparrows Point (1-1, 0-1) in a key Baltimore County 2A-1A game.
"I'm not surprised," said Seidel. "He probably could have been up last year, but he hadn't played as a freshman and I thought he needed the experience. He played against Dunbar last year [in the playoffs after a late-season call-up] and I knew then he was ready."
Sellman did most of his damage in the first half (19 points), when he took advantage of his range to shoot over a packed-in Pointers defense when Milford Mill's inside game had gone to sleep. Sellman hit three three-pointers and three other baskets from just inside the arc to loosen up the defense.
"I felt it in the warm-up line," said Sellman. "It just felt like my jumper was falling, so I took advantage of it."
Sparrows Point held a 42-40 lead at the half, but Milford Mill responded. The Millers used two three-pointers by Kenny Bostic and six points from Jermaine Dunn to go on a 15-6 run to give Milford Mill a 57-48 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Pointers managed to cut the lead to 59-57 with 33 seconds left in the third, but Milford Mill went on a 14-4 run to put the game away.
Sellman's effort overshadowed another fine game by Sparrows Point guard Carnell Damon. Damon's penetration opened up the middle of the lane, allowing Will Marshall (14 points) and Jerry Ciezkowski (17 points) to score from inside.
"We were over-committing [on defense] early, and [Damon] gave them a lot of opportunities," said Seidel. "We cut those off in the second half, and that was the difference."
Seidel said he was a little worried when the Millers got down early (Milford Mill trailed by as many as six in the second quarter), but was surprised by their poise.
"We hadn't practiced well lately, and I told them Sparrows Point would beat them if they weren't ready, but we came back nicely," he said. "I guess [my team] wanted it more than I thought."