On the rebound: Milano finally puts away Thorndale

In test of crosscounty rivals, Eagles win battle of the boards
Reporter Staff Writer

Milano’s Toby Sanders defends Thorndale’s Dillon Irwin in the Eagles’ 52-34 win over the Bulldogs Tuesday night in Thorndale. 
Reporter/Teresa Ging Milano’s Toby Sanders defends Thorndale’s Dillon Irwin in the Eagles’ 52-34 win over the Bulldogs Tuesday night in Thorndale. Reporter/Teresa Ging What a difference a year makes.

The last t ime Milano and Thorndale met on the basketball court it was 2010 and the game went into overtime, with the Bulldogs winning a close game.

When the teams met in 2009 in Thorndale it was a last second three point shot that lifted Thorndale over the Eagles.

When the two teams met again on Tuesday night at Bulldog gym, it was no doubt Milano was the better team this time.

The Eagles, now 10 -1 and ranked No. 17 on the year, man handled Thorndale by a score of 52-34.

It was only the Bulldogs’ second loss of the season. They are now 8-2 on the year.

Thorndale couldn’t get a shot to fall in the first half, scoring just 12 points in the first two quarters. Milano won the rebound battle, snagging 38 boards as a team on the night.

“ What an outstanding effort on the part of the entire team,” Eagles head coach Robbie Robinson said. “We are so proud of the way the guys played tonight, especially on the road against a pretty darn good team.”

Milano soared out to an early lead, leading 16-7 after the first quarter. Before the Bulldogs could score their first points of the second quarter, the Eagles had jumped out to a 26-9 advantage.

“ Thorndale is well- coached and does a great job, but we executed numerous back- door cuts and were able to get a lot of point-blank shots,” Robinson said. “Defensively, we played a really good first half and they had to try to play catch up, but to no avail.”

The Bulldogs did outscore Milano 22-18 in the second half of play, but just couldn’t make up the difference.

The Eagles’ junior Dominique Messer led all scorers with 18 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks.

Junior Toby Sanders also had double figures for the Eagles with 12 points. Senior John Jentsch followed with 10 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.

Dillon Irwin was the top Bulldog scorer with 13 points. Eric Guzman followed with nine.

The Bulldogs open district play Monday by hosting Florence.

Moody Tournament

Despite a loss, the Bulldogs captured their second straight tournament at Moody in a round robin format.

In the finale, Thorndale leapt out to a 20-point first quarter lead in pounding Rosebud-Lott 61-18.

Irwin tossed in 15 points to lead Thorndale as Laurence chipped in 11 and Schaefer 10.

““This was a good rebound win. This is about the fifth game in a row we have performed exceptionally well defensively,” said Thorndale Coach Doug Franklin. “I’ve been impressed with how we have played on that end of the court.

“We have played four games this week and gave up 34 points a game. If we can keep playing at that intensity we should have a lot of success in games to come.”

Leading up to the Rosebud- Lott rout, the Bulldogs were turned back by McGregor 44-35 in double overtime, their first loss of the year.

“This was a disappointing loss,” Franklin said. “Our kids played really well defensively. It took McGregor two overtimes to get to 44 points.

“ This is one of those games where we couldn’t score to save our lives. We missed evrything from layups to wide open jumpers and threes we normally make. I felt bad for the kids for playing so well defensively then not putting any points on the board.”

Facing host Moody for the third time in four games, Thorndale disposed of the familar foe 45-40.

“It felt like we were playing for the Eastern Conference finals,” Franklin said. “Both teams are very familiar with one another at this point.

Thomas pointed the way with 14 points, complemented by Irwin

St. Joseph tournament

Milano went 3-0 over the weekend to win its second straight Bryan-St. Joseph’s tournament.

The Eagles defeated Lutheran North from Houston 68-42 in the championship game on Saturday. John Jentsch led the team with 23 points, followed by Messer with 21. They each had 10 rebounds.

It was the fifth double-double of the season for both Jentsch and Messer.

“The team did a great job containing their 6-6 kids as well as their quick guards,” Robinson said. “ The focus was on point and our execution was sound. I am very proud of the team.”

Milano defeated host St. Joseph’s 56-20 on Friday to reach the title game. Three Eagles scored in double figures. Messer and Jentsch each recorded 17, with Jacob Willingham putting up 12.

Messer had 10 rebounds, four steals and six blocks. Jentsch snagged 11 boards and had three blocks. Melton had six rebounds and six steals.

The Eagles opened tourney play on Thursday by smashing North Zulch 76-19. Jentsch, Toby Sanders, Jordan Millar and Melton all had double figure points. Jentsch led all scorers with 22 points, along with 10 rebounds and two blocks. Sanders added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Melton had 11 points and Millar 10. Truitt Jones added seven rebounds and three steals. David Jentsch also had nine points.

Messer missed Thursday’s game due to illness.

Milano will host Austin St. Dominic Savio, ranked No. 18 in small private schools, on Friday at Geneva Paceley Gym.

The Eagles were supposed to play Lexington on Monday, but the Lee County school, which just ended its football season on Friday with a state semifinals loss to Refugio, decided to cancel the matchup since they start District 27-2A play on Tuesday.

Robinson said he is trying to schedule a game with Waco-Texas Christian Academy on either Monday or Tuesday to make up for the cancellation.

The Eagles will play in the Rosebud-Lott tournament Dec. 27-29, a tourney they won last season.

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