Milano upset by Yeguas

Free throw woes bury Eagles in area
BY MARIE BAKKEN Reporter Staff Writer

Milano’s Dominique  Messer (11) gets his shot blocked from behind by Somerville’s Jeff Foster (32) in the Eagles area loss to the Yeguas at Tiger Gym Friday. Foster led Somerville with 15 points. Reporter/ Holly Jentsch Milano’s Dominique Messer (11) gets his shot blocked from behind by Somerville’s Jeff Foster (32) in the Eagles area loss to the Yeguas at Tiger Gym Friday. Foster led Somerville with 15 points. Reporter/ Holly Jentsch With a No. 23 state ranking and district championship in its dossier, Milano was expecting nothing less than a deep run into the postseason.

Those plans were unexpectedly cut short on Friday night as the Eagles lost a 42-40 thriller to Somerville in the area round of the Class A Division I playoffs at Rockdale’s Tiger Gymnasium.

After their second consecutive area loss, the Eagles finish up at 24-7.

The Yeguas—who were 21-9 and placed second in District 25A to Mumford—fell to No. 25 Spurger on Monday night 57-37.

Spurger will face Yorktown in the Region IV tournament this weekend in Austin. The other regional semifinal will see Mumford play Sabinal.

“This was one of our worst shooting performances of the season,” second-year Milano Coach Robbie Robinson said. “The guys played well enough to win the game, but our free throw shooting was sub-par.”

Milano and Somerville battled for the first two quarters in a very physical match up and were knotted at 15-15 at halftime.

Somer v ille out rebounded Milano in the third quarter and managed a slight 26-25 lead at the end of three.

Unfortunate for Milano their worst shooting performance of the season came at the most inopportune time.

The Eagles were just eight of 22 from the free throw line on the night.

The Yeguas would take advantage of Milano turnovers to stretch out a 37-33 with just 1:23 left in the game.

The teams would trade fouls and free throws before Eagle senior Sam Walker would go up under the basket, making the shot and drawing the foul. He missed the free throw afterward to leave it at 38-36 Somerville.

Walker made up for the missed free throw by stealing the ball back at mid court and putting in two to tie things up at 38-38 with 34 seconds left.

Somerville would drive down the court and put up a jumper with 20 seconds left to lead 40- 38. The Eagles would call a time out near their own bench with 13.6 seconds remaining to set up the play.

The in-bounds play worked rather quickly and Jaxson Robinson would find Walker alone under the basket for two points with 8.2 seconds left. That would leave the Yeguas just enough time.

Rather than call a time out, Somerville would push quickly down the court.

Guard P.J. Pleasant ran into traffic under the basket so he passed the ball to Jeff Foster, who made the shot and was fouled with 3.7 second remaining and a 42-40 lead.

Foster was Somerville’s leading scorer with 15.

Foster’s free throw was no good. Milano’s John Jentsch would snag the rebound, but his half court shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim, ending the Eagles short playoff run and season.

“We played hard,” Coach Robinson said. “Somerville is an athletic bunch and gave us fits, but we battled the entire game and had a chance to win it.”

In his final high school game Walker led the team w ith 15 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow senior Matthew Jentsch scored 10 points to join his classmate in double-figures.

Walker and Jentsch, along with senior reserves Jordan Hughes and Robert Strong, will be gone next season, but Coach Robinson said his team will still be a force next year.

“We are extremely proud of this team and will miss the seniors next year...,” Coach Robinson said. “But we’ve got a good nucleus of returning lettermen and solid JV players that will continue to be competitive next season.”

This was the second close game in as many for Somerville as they advanced to play Milano after evading Evadale 71-65 in overtime during the bi-district


SCORING—Walker 10.9, Jentsch 9.3, Sanders 9.0, Robinson 7.0, Jentsch, J. 6.2, Messer 5.1. REBOUNDS—Walker 7.4, Messer 7.3, Jentsch, J. 5.7, Jentsch 5.5. ASSISTS—Robinson 5.6. STEALS— Robinson 4.1. FT%—Robinson 70. FG%— Sanders 42. 3PT%—Sanders 35.

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