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White explodes for 38 points as Milford Mill girls beat Aberdeen, advance to state semis

Even when opponents try to keep track of Milford Mill's Dionna White, the senior guard has a knack for breaking free or just flat-out beating them.

Tied with No. 5 Aberdeen with 40 seconds left in the second quarter Monday, White hit a 3-pointer from the corner and then scored 18 of her team's next 26 points to spark the defending state champion and No. 4 Millers to a 72-54 victory in the Class 3A North region final.

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White finished with 38 points, 12 rebounds, seven steals and three assists.

"When you're playing Milford Mill — No. 1, you can never lose sight of Dionna," Aberdeen coach Amber Milnes said, "and I think we started losing track of her, because she was moving around a little bit more than she was at the beginning. She's very dynamic and she's very good at breaking down a defense."

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This is the second straight year the Millers (23-1) have knocked Aberdeen (22-2) out of the playoffs. White scored 32 in last year's 80-62 region final. This year's win pulls the Millers even in the series after the Eagles — who won the 2012 and 2013 3A titles — beat Milford in both of those years, once in the region final and once in a regular-season game.

The Millers will meet No. 6 Poly, a 58-49 winner over No. 7 Atholton in the 3A East region final, in the state semifinals Thursday at Towson University's SECU Arena. The Class 3A championship is at 8 p.m. Saturday at SECU Arena.

Both teams looked tired early after so much time off over the past week, but White, the all-time leading scorer in Milford Mill girls basketball history, provided a lift midway through the second quarter with back-to-back baskets, the first on a nifty move to the hoop and the second after stealing the inbound pass. She then hit her next four 3-point shots, two in a 10-0 run to end the second quarter and another to give the Millers a 39-28 lead early in the second half.

"I think the intensity level changed," White said. "We had a lot more intensity."

Deja McKenzie and Taylor Bolden opened the half with back-to-back baskets before Aberdeen's Najze Norton, who finished with 19 points, hit a runner and Kierra Palmer fed Endia Jones for a layup.

Then White nailed her fourth 3-pointer and also scored the other nine points in a 12-2 Millers run to boost their lead to 48-30 with 3:57 left in the third quarter. To end the quarter, she assisted Makenzie Pollard then stole the ball and completed a three-point play for a 57-36 lead.

The Eagles rallied with a 9-2 run to open the fourth quarter, but could get no closer than within 12 when Stephanie Jones banked in a shot to cut the lead to 63-51 with 3:23 to go.

The Millers also outrebounded the Eagles, 52-46, an area where Aberdeen figured to have an advantage with the 6-foot-2 Stephanie Jones (14 points, 15 rebounds) and 6-3 Endia Jones (six points 13 rebounds). The Millers had no player in the game taller than 5-11, but Deja McKenzie, Kierra Jackson, Pollard and Nijah Frederick allowed the duo just 10 second-chance points while combining for 31 rebounds.

Jackson also scored 10 and point guard Bolden had 12 points and five assists.

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A—Norton 19, E.Jones 6, S.Jones 14, Palmer 15. Totals 23 4-11 54.

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M—White 38, McKenzie 3, Bolden 12, Jackson 10, Make.Pollard 6, Frederick 3. Totals 32 4-7 72. Half: M, 32-24.

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