By GREG WEBB
MILLSAP — Set on goals of climbing back into playoff contention on Friday, the Millsap varsity basketball teams took a step in the right direction. Hosting Boyd in District 9-2A matches, the Bulldog squads experienced differing paths to accomplish the feats, but with the same result.
The Lady Bulldogs never had the lead for three quarters in their contest with the Boyd girls, and were in danger of losing touch with the Lady Jackets midway in the third period when Boyd went up by seven points, its biggest margin on the night.
But, like the flip of a light switch, Millsap came roaring back with a 8-2 run, setting up the mastery of the final quarter that saw the Lady Bulldogs pass, then pull away, for a 44-31 win.
“This game was a good example of how this season has gone,” said MHS head coach Jackie Jeter. “But sometimes we will come out hot and cool off. Tonight, it was the other way around.”
The first basket in the fourth quarter gave Millsap, now 2-4 in district play, its first lead of the night — one it would never relinquish.
The Lady Bulldogs found their range in the third and fourth quarters, led by junior guard Sydney Herbel, who scored 12 of her game-high 15 points in the span. But the telling factor in the game was the play of the MHS defense.
“We were giving Boyd two and three opportunities to shoot in the first half because we were giving them too many offensive rebounds,” Jeter said.
But the defensive blockouts and better caroms off the rim after the break cured rebounding ills and the Lady Bulldogs completed their comeback with efficiency.
Also leading the scoring effort for Millsap were senior Mikelyn Kruger (12 points) and sophomore Jolee Carswell (9 points).
The Millsap varsity boys (2-3) took a healthy lead in the second quarter in their match against the Yellowjackets, but had to fight off the resurgent Boyd team in the second half. Timely steals and a slew of fourth-quarter free throws helped the Bulldogs down the stretch as they held off the Jackets, 55-50.
The Bulldogs led by as many as 11 points in the second period, but saw the lead disappear in the third, with the Jackets tying the game at 29-all in the final minute of the quarter.
A concerted offensive effort put the ‘Dogs back in front. Senior Daulton Thomas had a pair of threes en route to his game-high 16 points, with Dalyn Clanin, Michael Rogers and Jaxon Martin following up with 12,10 and 9 points, respectively.
Millsap’s cool free-throw shooting to start the game heated up in the final period, helping the Bulldogs maintain the lead in the final minutes, as Boyd went into foul mode.
The Millsap varsities return to district action Tuesday, hoping for another ‘W’ in district play. The task will be formidable, but the upset-minded Millsap teams are set to host Brock, with the girls taking the court at 6:30 p.m.