Sports

Milford sweeps Souhegan for first time

Thursday, February 27, 2014

By JOE MARCHILENA

Staff Writer

MILFORD – Steve Signor figures opponents must have a hard time game planning how to defend his Milford High School girls basketball team.

If he doesn’t even know which player is going to have a big game for the Spartans, how is it possible for the other team?

It was someone else’s turn Thursday against Souhegan, as freshman Erin McGuire came off the bench to score 12 points, and Jennifer Dupuis added eight points to lead Milford to a 48-39 victory in the first game of a doubleheader. The win was the 10th in a row for the Spartans, who have the best record in Division II.

In the second game, the Milford boys snapped a 12-game losing streak by holding off Souhegan for a 46-41 victory. It’s the first time in the history of the rivalry that the Spartans have swept a girl-boy basketball doubleheader from the Sabers.

For the Milford girls, it was just more of the same, as the Spartans have now held their opponents under 40 points in 12 of their 15 games.

“You never know who is going to be the leading scorer,” Signor said of his team. “It happened to be a freshman off the bench. Every single game, when you’re trying to prepare for us, who do you have to stop? You don’t know. I don’t know until after the game.”

Adelle Pitsas and Jessica Ryan added seven points each as Milford led 19-12 at halftime but could never stretch the lead any further until late in the fourth quarter. Souhegan got within four points or less four times in the second half, but could never get any closer.

“You can’t help but tip your hat to Milford,” Souhegan coach Mike Heaney said. “Beyond the skill and talent, they play so hard. Physically they are a team on a mission that believes it can win a championship, and they should.

“That’s why they are 14-1 right now and that’s what sets them apart. They play with an intensity and a desire that we do not have.”

Cammie Formby-Lavertu led the Sabers with 13 points while Jaime King and Morgan Brady each added eight, but it was the third loss in a row for Souhegan.

BOYS: MILFORD 46, SOUHEGAN 41

The Spartans trailed by seven late in the first half, but went on a 14-4 run that stretched into the second half to take its first lead of the game.

Twice Souhegan was able to retake the lead, but both times, Milford’s Jordan Delgado (game-high 16 points) hit a 3-pointer to give the Spartans the lead, including one with 2:05 to play that put Milford up for good.

Seth Hopkins was also in double figures for the Spartans with 10 points, including a layup with about five seconds remaining to secure the win, and Evan Perron added eight points.

Souhegan got nine points from sophomore Jerrell Duguay Webster and Brian Dworkin chipped in with seven.

“Pretty huge, really huge,” Milford coach Dan Murray said of the win. “We got off to a slow start again, but everybody hung in. As the game went along, we started to run some nice sets and took care of the ball.”

The Sabers had a chance in the final 24 seconds to tie the game, but a 3-pointer by Dworkin was off the mark and Hopkins grabbed the rebound before getting fouled. With a chance to ice the game, the Milford big man missed both, but ended up with the ball alone under the basket after a scramble for the rebound.

The loss was the fourth in a row for Souhegan and the fifth time the Sabers have lost by seven points or less.

“We played like an inexperienced team would play in a rivalry game,” Souhegan coach Peter Pierce said. “At times, we played well and our decision making was good. And at times, we played without any patience and our execution was poor.”

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