Bucs send both basketball squads to DIAA tournament

MILFORD — With the release of the 2017 DIAA state tournament brackets Friday afternoon, Milford High School learned it would be sending not one but two teams to the postseason.

The girls’ squad earned the No. 17 seed in the tournament, setting up a rivalry match-up with No. 16 Lake Forest Tuesday, Feb. 28. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

The boys’ squad earned the No. 12 seed in the tournament, setting up a first-round home game against Red Lion Wednesday, March 1. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

Girls’ basketball

Head coach Leona White lead her squad to a 12-8 regular season record, winning six out of seven games from Jan. 24 to Feb. 14. Prior to that three-week span, Milford had been sitting on the brink at 5-6.

A 49-24 victory over Laurel Jan. 24 kicked off a five-game win streak and marked the beginning of Milford’s 7-2 finish over the last nine games of the season.

In the team’s final regular season game, a meeting with the Sussex Tech Ravens, Milford fell 58-33 on the road. Tech — the No. 8 seed in the tournament — limited the Bucs to just 33 points.

“My girls beat themselves,” coach White said following the loss. “They didn’t run their offense, they didn’t play good defense. They beat themselves. They’ve played better teams and they’ve beaten them.”

Senior Rajene Bowe led the team with 12 points, while fellow senior Kiarra Brittingham added another nine points.

But with a road match-up with rival Lake Forest slated for the first-round, coach White hopes to see more from her offense and a stronger defensive showing.

The playoff preparation began before the team even knew who they’d be playing in the first round.

“We just have to prepare ourselves for the next game. That’s all,” White said. “Expectations? We’re going to take it as it comes. We’re going to give it everything we’ve got.”

Boys’ basketball

Finishing the regular season with a match-up against a top 10 tournament seed is a good way to prepare for the postseason.

With a 52-38 loss to Appoquinimink – the No. 10 seed in the boys’ bracket – to end the season, head coach Bob Spath knows what he needs to work on in preparation for his team’s first-round match-up with No. 21 Red Lion.

Fortunately for the Bucs, they’ll have the opportunity to host its first-round game Wednesday night.

With continued improvement throughout the season from players such as Daniel Shockley, Chris Sampson, Marcus Correa, Tyler Timson and Jaxson Turner, senior team leaders Brion Murray and Tymire Riddick won’t have a shortage talent and depth around them on the court.

From Jan. 26 to Feb. 14, the Milford boys went on the road six straight games, coming away from the road stand with a 3-3 record. The six-game span included wins over rival Lake Forest (80-58) and an upset win over Caesar Rodney (59-51).

In the last month, Milford has hosted just one game in front of the home crowd, but has gone 5-1 over the team’s last six home games.

An opening-round win Wednesday night would set the Bucs up with a second-round match-up with No. 5 Smyrna (18-2) Friday night.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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