Cavs’ offense disappears
Friday, February 22, 2013
MILFORD – Steve Signor preaches defense to his Milford High School girls basketball team.
The goal is to keep the opposition to 10 points or less in a quarter, and more often than not this season, the Spartans have been successful.
Signor could never have guessed Milford would be as successful as it was Tuesday night against Hollis Brookline.
The Spartans held the Cavaliers to six points or less in all four quarters and beat HB for the second time this year, 43-16, to improve to 12-5 in Division II. It’s the most wins for the Milford program since at least the split that created Souhegan in 1992, and it also means the Spartans will be hosting a playoff game for the first time since at least then.
And if Milford wins its regular-season finale against St. Thomas on Friday, the Spartans could end up in the top four.
“We talk about
keeping quarters to under 10 (points), but I didn’t think we were going to get two and two (in the first and fourth),” Signor said. “(Monday) night in practice, we had the most focused practice I’ve seen us have. I said to them at the end of the practice, I said ‘you’re ready.’ We talked about it before the game, let’s show how ready you are. We struggled a little on offense early against that zone, but defensively, we brought it.”
Both teams struggled from the field early and the game was scoreless for the first 6:18. HB (11-5) actually got on the board first, getting a layup from Erin Ackerly to go up 2-0.
It didn’t get any better from there for the Cavs.
“We couldn’t put the ball in the basket,” HB coach Bob Murphy said. “They played on both ends and we didn’t.”
HB had just four points until 1:23 remained in the first half, when Ellie Flaum hit two jumpers for all of her team-high four points.
Milford’s Dina Pitsas scored 20 points, outscoring the Cavs by four.
For now, the Spartans are the fourth seed in the division, meaning that if they were to win in the preliminary round, they’d also host a quarterfinal game. The playoffs are scheduled to start on Feb. 26.
Milford could have had the spot wrapped up already, but a loss to Merrimack Valley last Thursday served as a bit of a speed bump.
“We kind of got caught up in hosting a playoff game,” Signor said. “We got to looking at where we were in the standings. They were looking, I was looking, and it kind of hurt us in the Merrimack Valley game. We weren’t focused to just play that game, we were looking at the bigger picture.”
As for the Cavs, they were scheduled to play at John Stark (4-12) on Wednesday and host the Generals again on Friday. Winning both could keep HB alive for their own spot in the top four, if Milford or another team stumbles.
No matter where the Cavs end up, Signor believes they’ll be all right.
“Hollis is a great team,” he said. “Bob will get them back and they’ll be ready for the playoffs.”