It's a rare occasion when Milford Mill coach Pam Wright is pleased after a 16-point loss.
Last night, however, was such an occasion for the coach of the three-time defending Baltimore County champions.
The 10th-ranked Millers played well defensively but were never able to get their offense in sync in a 58-42 loss to host and top-ranked McDonogh, which has won 22 straight dating to last December.
Wright was happy because the offensive spark she felt her team needed is about to suit up for the first time this season. Junior guard Mandy Clark, who transferred to Milford Mill after playing at Woodlawn last season, will play for the Millers vs. Parkville Wednesday.
Clark, one of Baltimore County's top scorers last season, sat on the bench in street clothes last night. She had not been cleared to play pending county officials' investigation into the circumstances of her transfer.
"I thought we did a good job against the No. 1 team, since we
weren't at full strength," Wright said. "Our star player didn't play. But everything will be cleared tomorrow, and she'll be ready for our next game."
The Millers played tough defense against McDonogh, especially in the first half, even though the scoreboard didn't reflect it.
McDonogh (4-0), led by returning All-Metro Player of the Year Vicki Brick's 29 points, never trailed en route to a 32-18 halftime lead.
Milford Mill played a zone defense designed to force the Eagles to shoot from outside.
"If I were going to play us, that's how I would do it, too," McDonogh coach Katie Keating said. "In the first half, we did not at all work the ball inside. Basically, all we did was move it around the outside and shoot it. We were frustrated, because they were doing such a good job.
"In the second half, we did a much better job of getting the ball to our people in the middle, and that opened a lot more up."
The Eagles maintained a lead throughout the first half by hitting six of 15 from three-point range and harassing the Millers with their pressing defense. Milford Mill was just 6-for-20 from the field in the half.
Senior forward Chante Alexander didn't get much help offensively from her Milford Mill teammates. She scored 15 of the Millers' 18 points in the first half and finished with 24.
McDonogh took its biggest lead, 47-28, on Brick's three-pointer with 1: 05 left in the third quarter. The Millers responded with an 8-0 run to pull to 47-36 with 4: 35 remaining, but they got no closer.
The Eagles, with only four returnees, appear to be jelling again.
Pub Date: 12/11/98