Eagles ready to make amends against old pal
MILANO—Despite the fact that it is merely the second round of the playoffs, when Milano and Mumford go at each other Friday, it will have a definite state tournament feel.
Chris Sodek’s Mustangs were ranked as high as No. 3 in statewide basketball polls early in the season, but have filtered out of the top 25 after two losses to Burton in 26A play. Burton entered the polls at No. 25 this week.
The team is led by senior Matt Williams—the lone returning starter from last season—and freshman Aubrie King.
K ing is t he son of former Milano head basketball coach and now Mumford assistant Alvie King and Wendy King, long time Milano volleyball coach.
King had gone to Milano ISD before transferring to Mumford prior to the 2009-10 school year when his father was hired there to start up the school’s baseball program.
The 6-foot-4 King averages 22 points, 11 rebounds and 5.5 assists for the Mustangs. He also shoots 87 percent from the free throw line.
Mumford advanced to play the Eagles after defeating Hull- Daisetta in a bi-district match up Monday night at Huntsville High School.
Williams led the team with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while King had 20 points and 13 boards.
“ What a great oppor tunit y for two good teams to play one another,” Milano head coach Robbie Robinson said. “Mumford plays fast, they are good shooters and they try to get their opponents to play at a pace many teams are unaccustomed to playing. This will be an awesome test for us and I believe the Eagles will respond well on Friday night.”
The Mustangs have put up over 100 points in eight games this season and average 85 points a game behind the outside shooting of King and Williams and have busted the clock for 110 and 108 in their past two outings.
King has swished 122 treys on the season, while the 5-foot- 11 Williams has put in 117 from beyond the arc.
Mumford advanced to the regional finals last season, but lost a good bit of that group to graduation. Williams was the only returning starter off last year’s squad.
Milano, who has stayed in the Class A Top 10 for the last month, has quite a few scorers of its own, billing this game as an exciting ticket.
Four Eagle players are averaging in double figures, led by 6-foot-3 sophomore Dominique Messer at 12.6.
Seniors Thomas Sanders and Jaxson Robinson are averaging, 11.1 and 10.1 respectively. Junior John Jentsch is averaging 10.1 as well.
This won’t be the first time the two teams have met in the post season.
Mumford ousted the Eagles from the playoffs in 2009, Coach Robinson’s first year at the helm in Milano. The Mustangs won 104-67 in the area round, raining in 14 treys.
That was the same season that Milano won their first post season game since 1999 with a bi-district victory over Shiner.
Last season the Eagles lost a thriller to Somerville 42-40, also in the area round.
This year’s Milano seniors were sophomores on that 2009 team, including Robinson, Sanders, Mayson Gibbons and Alton Bryant. You would think that game might motivate them, but they have grown past it.
“There are several guys on the team that were on the team two years ago and not a word has been spoken to me about that game,” Coach Robinson said.
The Eagles had their 12-game winning end with a 65-44 road loss to Hempstead (25-7) on Friday night in a post season warm up game. The Bobcats are ranked No. 13 in Class 2A this week.
Hempstead, the much more physical team, led most of the game, edging the Eagles 39-22 in the last two quarters.
“This was a great opportunity for us to play against a tall, athletic team,” Robinson said. “We did not play well, but Hempstead had a lot to do with that. They were tall and muscular. They were much more physical than we were and wore us down in the second half.
“The guys needed a game like this and I think that it will prove beneficial to us to have played a team like Hempstead.”
Messer led the Eagles with 12 points, but was held to just five rebounds. He has been averaging 8.3 per game. Sanders joined him in double-digits with 11.
MILANO SEASON STATS Scoring—Messer 12.6, Sanders 11.1, Jentsch 10.1, Robinson 10.1, Sanders, To. 5.9, Gibbons 4.7, Bryant 4.7, Melton 3.7. Rebounds—Messer 8.1, Jents. 6.2 Assists—Robinson 6.6, Sand. 2.9 3PTS—Robinson 33, Sanders 23 Steals—Messer 95, Robinson 75
MILANO VS. MUMFORD
Who—No. 5 Milano Eagles (26-3)
vs. Mumford Mustangs (27- 6).
What— Class A, Divison I, Area
When—Friday, 7 p.m.
Where—Bryan High School
District—Milano was unbeaten
Distrtct 27A champion; Mumford
finished second to Burton in 26A.
Last meeting—Mumford won 104-
67 in 2009 in the area playoffs.