No. 14 Milano jumps out 2-0
The Eagles (15-5, 2-0) used a third quarter surge to put the game out of reach on the road at Somerville on Tuesday night.
Milano defeated the Yeguas 72-43 behind 19-point performances by both Jacob Willingham and Jordan Millar.
The team outscored Somerville 21-8 in the third quarter after leading 35-25 at halftime.
The Eagles shot well from the free throw line, sinking 17 of 20 shots. Willingham was six of six from the charity stripe.
Dominique Messer added 18 points and 10 rebounds for Milano.
On Friday night, the Eagles (14- 5, 1-0) had to come from behind to beat Snook 59-51 in the district opener for both teams.
Milano looked a little sluggish in keeping up with a swift Bluejay squad, trailing 14-7 at the end of the first. Snook’s Keenan Brooks threw up a half court shot at the buzzer that bounced in and seem to take the wind out of the Eagle team and crowd.
However, Milano found their groove and went on a 7-0 run to open up the second quarter and cut the lead to 16-14 with 5:17 left in the half.
Dominique Messer would hit a shot with 1:20 left in the half to tie things up at 19-19. Milano would continue that momentum and with a buzzer beater of their own by Jordan Millar, the Eagles would find themselves up 25-21 at halftime.
“Snook really got after us on the boards and I challenged my kids to get tougher at halftime,” Eagles head coach Brad Jones said. “We responded well to their hot start and battled through a lot of adversity throughout the game. They shot the ball extremely well, and for a long time I began to wonder if they were ever going to miss.”
Snook took the lead back for most of the third quarter before Milano’s outside shooter would get hot.
Down 38-34, Milano’s David Jentsch would hit a three to pull the t eam w ithin o ne. S nook would hit one of two free throws and Milano’s Jacob Willingham would pull up and sink a jumper to tie the game at 39-39 with a minutes left in the third.
In the final quarter, Jentsch would get hot again, sinking another three at 7:08 left in the game, and Milano’s lead would never squander.
“I thought we did a good job of handling their pressure and sharing the ball. I was very proud of my team. They showed a lot of heart and desire and basically won that game on emotion,” Jones said. “I give a lot of credit to our fans for providing an emotional lift all night for us.”
Jentsch led the team with 17 points, followed by 13 points from both Messer and Millar.
The Eagles will now host Burton on Friday night, always an athletic squad. Then on Tuesday night, it will be a rematch of last year’s Region IV championship game as Mumford will come to Geneva Paceley Gym.
“I said before that this district is really tough and I don’t think anyone really believed me. Well, it is a very tough district and every game could be close,” Jones said.