Milford Mill coach Pam Wright pulled Melanie Gordon after only a few minutes of last night's game with Parkville. Wright thought Gordon was too fired up and nervous, and told her to sit and try to settle down.
Gordon followed Wright's instructions to the letter. The 5-foot-9 forward/center returned to have a solid all-around game, finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds and five steals to help No. 9 Milford Mill hold off visiting Parkville, 51-42, in a Baltimore County Division I game.
Gordon sparked Milford Mill (15-2, 9-0) at both ends of the court after the Millers had yet another slow start against a scrappy Parkville team. The Knights took a 13-2 lead before losing in the first meeting this season and last night scored the game's first seven points.
Parkville (11-4, 4-4) held a 19-11 lead early in the second quarter before Milford Mill began disrupting the Knights with presses and traps. Gordon had four of her five steals in the second quarter as the Millers surged back for a 24-24 halftime tie.
Gordon's free throw gave Milford Mill the lead for good at 25-24 early in the third quarter. The Millers began pulling away, and Gordon sealed the win with six points in the game's final 1:31. She also came away with some floor burns.
"It's worth it for the win," Gordon said with a laugh. "In the second half, we came out with a lot of intensity."
Milford Mill's defense finished with 11 steals and forced 19 turnovers. Gordon had a hand in many of those plays.
"She settled herself down," Wright said. "She knew she wasn't getting the job done. She was just too fired up at first."
Wright thought her whole team might have been too fired up as Milford Mill was inconsistent for long stretches. Parkville has given the Millers fits in recent years. The Knights beat Milford Mill twice last year and forced it to rally for a win in the earlier meeting this year.
Shawna Scott (12 points, five assists), Candyce Jeter (12 points) and Qiana Cheatham (10 points, four assists) all stepped up to help the Millers' offense at different times. Jeter scored seven in the third quarter as Milford Mill took a 36-29 lead into the final period.
Scott then scored five in the fourth quarter.
Kim Vaughan kept Parkville close with a game-high 16 points. But the Knights simply could not make shots, hitting just 17 of 69 from the field.
"They just couldn't hit tonight," Parkville coach Allison Shinners said. "It was just one of those nights where it happened to us again."