Mavericks even Lakes Valley Conference record with 50-25 triumph
Milford’s Megan Wallace seems to thrive when playing against arch-rival White Lake Lakeland.
And that was the case once Friday night as the senior forward scored 11 of her game-high 15 points in the second half as the Mavericks rolled to a convincing 50-25 Lakes Valley Conference win over the host Eagles.
Getting to the basket was the game plan for Wallace, who will attend Michigan State next year on rowing scholarship.
“Honestly, on dribble drive we were really aggressive,” Wallace said. “I think that really worked well for us in the long run. We just have fun together and it was just a great game for us. Getting to the hoop is something really important that we want to work on tonight. And we executed it very well.”
The Mavericks (3-3, 1-1) used a three-quarter court press to pin down Lakeland (0-6, 0-2).
“I thought our girls worked really hard on the press,” Milford coach David Browne said. “We forced something like 27 turnovers and that was the difference. It got us extra shots and we were able to push it on the fastbreak and made some good choices where earlier in the year we weren’t spreading the floor as well.”
Allison Smith, a junior forward, chipped in with 11 points as Milford shot 17-for-60 from the floor (28.3 percent) and 14-of-24 from the foul line (58.3 percent).
“I thought we made some good steps tonight,” Browne said. “Our shooting percentage was a lot better. We’ve had some losses where we didn’t shoot well and did everything else right. Our shots fell a little bit better tonight and we hope it carries on, too.”
Wallaced had eight first quarter points as Milford jumped out to a 16-6 advantage.
“She was great,” Browne said. “She loves this Milford-Lakeland game. I think every time we’ve played them she’s played her best. She’s a great senior, a great leader.”
Lakeland trailed 22-12 at halftime and 30-16 after three quarters before Milford blew things open with a 20-9 fourth quarter run.
“We still struggling with our pressure,” Lakeland coach Mike Head said. “We’ve got to learn. We have flashes every now and then, but it’s been our weakness and we as a group we’ve got to keep working at it and kind of learn from it as we keep going through the season.”
During the middle two quarters, Lakeland got off only seven shots from the floor and committed 18 turnovers.
“They just hold to their (press) rules pretty well and we just got to take care of the ball better and work together collectively,” Head said.”Every now and then we do it well, but those are too far and few in between.”
Lakeland, only 8-of-29 from the floor (27.9 percent), had only one player score in double figures as senior center Skylar Baer had 10.
“We didn’t do a great job on the boards, that’s for sure,” Head said. “Milford, I’m sure, really had a serious lead on the offensive glass for sure. We knew they were going to play tough. They’re a tough team and are always going to be playing us tough. We just got to arise to the occasion the next game.”
The two teams meet again Friday, Feb. 9 in the rematch, this time at Lakeland.
“I just want to have as much fun as possible,” Wallace said. “I’ve had a great four years here and I want to go out with a bang.”