Milano settles district argument with easy win
I guess you could call this the Mumford sweepstakes.
Meaning, the loser of Friday night’s playoff for the top seed in district would most probably be the first squad to have to butt heads with nearby Mumford, who stands 30-2 on the season and is ranked No. 2 in the state.
Milano, which was booted out of the state playoffs last season by the high powered Mustangs, made sure they would get a running start this time around by thumping Thorndale 60-45 Friday night at Rockdale’s Tiger Gym in front of a standing-roomonly crowd.
Milano lif ted its record to 24-6, while Thorndale slipped to 18-12.
“What a game,” said secondyear Milano Coach Robbie Robinson. “We played extremely well this evening, especially on the defensive end of the floor. The guys stepped up and played with a sense of urgency with the district championship on the line.
“Hitting 18 of 21 free throws was huge.”
Both teams held service at their home gyms during league play. Milano won the first round matchup, Thorndale the second.
Now, if Milano makes its way that deep into the playoff bracket, it wouldn’t be forced to deal with Mumford until the regional finals with a trip to the state tournament in the balance.
The victory over Thorndale earned the Eagles a bye in the first round and they await Tuesday’s Someville-Evadale winner.
Thorndale’s first round matchup with Shiner in Smithville was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Leading 33-22 at intermission, Milano began the second half in earnest, outscoring the Bulldogs 11-4 in the first half of the third quarter, including a pair of three -pointers from John Jentsch and Thomas Sanders to make it 44-26 with 3:58 left in the quarter.
The Eagles opened the final period strong as well with six straight points to construct their largest lead of the evening 57- 34.
Aided by Milano’s 12 turnovers, Thorndale put up one last fight with an eight-point run to close within 57-42 with 3:34 remaining to be played, but that’s as close at the Bulldogs could get after missing 13 shots.
The Eagles—who turned the ball over 20 times in the second half—were bolstered by the outside shooting of 6-foot-1 sophomore John Jentsch who canned a game-high 17 points, which included three treys.
Jentsch had been averaging six points coming in.
Brot her Mat t hew Jent sch chipped in 13 and Sam Walker added 10, eight rebounds and three steals.
Point guard Jaxson Robinson collected seven assists and seven rebounds while freshman sensation Dominique Messer gobbled up 11 rebounds.
Isaac Leyendecker and Weston Fisher led Thorndale with nine points apiece.