A mostly sluggish first half for the Milford Mill boys basketball team ended on a high note against visiting Woodlawn when guard Sammy Scott beat the buzzer on a long 3-pointer to provide the Millers with a one-point lead.
The home team never let go of the momentum, scoring the first 11 points of the third quarter to build a double-digit advantage that wasn’t threatened.
Drew Rheubottom led the way with 17 points and Jermaine Goodwyn and Detwan Montague each added 14 as the No. 12 Millers claimed a 67-56 win over Woodlawn before a packed gym in Baltimore County play.
Milford Mill improved to 3-0 on the season, while Woodlawn fell to 1-1. Wednesday’s showdown was the league opener for both teams.
Montague, a 6-foot-8 transfer from St. Frances who opened the second half with a follow basket on the Millers’ opening possession, was impressed with how his team stuck to the plan.
“We started off a little slow, but everybody kept playing hard, and we got locked in,” he said.
What was the key in riding the momentum? “Defense,” he said.
The momentum change for the Millers actually started a couple minutes before Scott’s long make before the half.
After Woodlawn senior guard Tyray Cooper hit consecutive 3-pointers and turned a steal into an easy layup, the Warriors had a 31-23 lead with 1:58 to play in the half.
The Millers responded with the final nine points of the half, and after Rheubottom scored an inside basket with 3:59 to play in the third quarter, they had a 20-0 run that produced a 43-31 lead. The Millers defense limited the Warriors to three field goals in the decisive third quarter, with the first coming with 3:07 left.
“We made a few adjustments [at halftime]. We were overzealous and our defense was playing too much one on one,” Milford Mill coach Ryan Smith said. “We had to get settled down and run our offense. Then we did what we wanted. We got a 6-8 forward and had to get him the basketball.”
The Warriors, who got a game-high 19 points from senior Kiran Thompson, did all they could to stay close. Thompson hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 59-52 with 3:19 to play, but the Millers had an answer when Montague found Trevon Gwaltney inside for an easy basket on the next possession.
Both teams return to the court Dec. 27 at the inaugural St. Frances Academy Holiday Showcase. Milford Mill will take on Delware-based Salesianum, while Woodlawn goes against No. 8 City.
W – Thompson 19, Cooper 17, Downs 5, Allen 3, Thomas 3, Riggs 6, Rice 3. Totals: 22 6-12 56
MM – Goodwyn 14, Montague 14, Scott 7, Rhuebottom 17, Young 2, Koger 4, Gwaltney 9. Totals: 24 17-25 67
Latest High School sports
Half: MM, 32-31