Milford Mill wasn't about to let any team get the better of it twice in a row -- especially with the Baltimore County championship on the line.
The 15th-ranked Millers avenged a year-old loss to Towson yesterday and claimed their second straight county title with a 53-43 victory at home.
Wednesday, the Millers (21-2) atoned for their only county loss by beating No. 10 Woodlawn to advance to the title clash.
"I was hoping it wouldn't be like last year when we came off that big win," said Millers coach Pam Wright, of the 1996 county title victory over Catonsville, "and played Towson in the regionals and we just didn't do anything. This year, we came off a big win and we kept our minds in the game."
Towson (17-4), however, kept it close until the final minute.
Sara Lev's three-point play cut Milford's lead to 44-38 with three minutes left, but the Generals turned the ball over on their next four possessions and went two minutes without a shot. Once the Generals had to resort to fouling, Milford hit six of eight free throws in the final 43 seconds.
The Generals didn't let the Millers run as much as they wanted to and they kept pace on the boards, but Milford had two weapons the Generals couldn't counter -- a height advantage and a half-court trap.
After Towson took the early lead by breaking the Millers' full-court press, Wright switched to the half-court strategy.
Facing the mid-court line of 6-foot Chante Alexander, 6-0 Crystal Dent and 5-11 Danielle Carter, the Generals had trouble moving the ball. The Millers scored 10 straight points with the half-court press to take their first lead late in the first half, and they used it to spark a 10-2 run to end the third quarter with a 36-29 lead.
Alexander (12 points, nine rebounds) and Dent (four points, 14 rebounds, four blocks) frustrated Towson inside, while point guard Jenna Bradford scored 16 points and Dyanna Mitchell added 12.
The Millers managed only a slight edge in rebounds, 44-40, but they made the most of their offensive boards. They scored on eight put-backs while the Generals managed just three.
Jaimee Reynolds, at 5-11, battled the Millers inside for 10 points and 15 rebounds.
Mercy 75, IND 16: Sophomore center Jamie Vogtman paced the top-ranked Magic (22-2) with 17 points and nine rebounds as Mercy clinched a first-place tie in the Catholic League by winning before 2,200 fans at Towson State yesterday. Mercy won a coin flip to break a tie with Seton Keough for top seeding in the league tournament, which starts Friday.
Lansdowne 54, Eastern Tech 28: Sophomore guard Sarah Grimes led all scorers with 19 points, helping Lansdowne (17-6) rip Eastern Tech at home for the Baltimore County Sharpshooters Division championship.
Greater Grace 57, Perry Hall Christian 29: Eighth-grader Nicole Gorham score 19 points and senior Sarah Kirby had nine points (( and 13 rebounds to help Greater Grace (10-8) beat Perry Hall Christian for the Maryland Christian Athletic League title at Essex Community College.
Pub Date: 2/23/97