Mumford edges Eagles in overtime instant classic

No. 2 Mustangs grab title, preserve unbeaten season
BY BILL MARTIN
Reporter Sports Editor


Mumford’s Aubrie King takes a swipe at Milano’s Jordan Millar’s bank shot in the fourth quarter of the epic battle. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Mumford’s Aubrie King takes a swipe at Milano’s Jordan Millar’s bank shot in the fourth quarter of the epic battle. Reporter/Bill Martin MUMFORD—Brad Jones joked before Friday night’s game with Mumford that everyone piling in the gym was going to see how good Mumford was.

Consequently, he found out how good his team was.

Battling to the bitter end, No. 12 Milano pushed No. 2 and unbeaten Mumford to the brink in a 75- 66 Mustang overtime victory in an instant classic.

Mumford (33-0, 10-0) clinched the District 25A title with the win, while Milano will finish second at 21-7 and 8-2. Snook is the third place team in the district.

(Mumford defeated Somerville Tuesday night in the regular season finale and Milano defeated Iola).

As has been the norm when these two neighbors butt heads, the game was played before a standing-room-only, overf low crowd, with Mustang gymnasium being converged upon by gym rats and hoop junkies from all over Central Texas.


Milano’s Dominique Messer swats away a shot by Mumford’s Dion Mack. Messer led Milano with 20 points and 13 rebounds. 
Reporter/Bill Martin Milano’s Dominique Messer swats away a shot by Mumford’s Dion Mack. Messer led Milano with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Reporter/Bill Martin What they witnessed was the game of the year, that couldn’t have been any closer if it had been scripted.

The game was tied at the end of each period: 15-all, 30-all, 48-all and 63-all at the end of regulation.

Mumford pulled away from a gassed Milano squad in the overtime period, outscoring the Eagles 12-3, including 10-straight to open the extra stanza.

The lead changed hands 15 times and before overtime, neither team led by more than five.

In their first meeting in district play, Milano waited until the fourth quarter to stand up to Mumford before losing 51-42. Friday evening, the Eagles bowed up from the tipoff.

“Adrenaline got us in the first game,” Jones said. “This time, they expected to win, they expected to be in the game. This was a big game for us, even though we didn’t win.

“We played almost a perfect game.”

“They are not scared of us, and I’ll bet they are chomping at the bit to play us a third time,” said Mumford coach Chris Sodek. “I think our defense was clutch late in the fourth quarter and in overtime.

“I thought our whole team handled it in the clutch and was able to come through.”

Milano actually led 63-61 when Aubrie King was fouled on an inbound pass with 1.85 seconds remaining in regulation and his double-pump almost bounced in,

Two years ago, King’s missed free throw allowed the Eagles to convert a wild shot and send the Mustangs packing in area playoffs.

In admittedly lesser circumstances, King calmly sank both free shots this time to send the game in overtime.

“We needed to win the game with four seconds left,” said Jones. “We were trying to foul Aubrie before he shot, but he’s so strong, he was able to get the ball above his head and get a shot off.”

It was all Mumford in the extra period.

While Milano missed its first five shots of the period, Mumford burned off 10 straight points as Hyson—who led all scorers with 29 points—accounted for eight of the 12 total.

The Eagles’ only points came with 44 seconds left on a Messer three-point play.

Hyson and Messer battled all evening, with Messer countering with 20 points.

Hyson collected 10 rebounds and Messer 13.

Jordan Miller complemented Messer with 16 points, followed by Toby Sanders and David Jentsch with 13 each.

King just missed out on another triple-double with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He was four-for-10 from the three-point arch.

Three pointers played a big part in Mumford’s attack—its first three baskets were from long range—and the Mustangs were 10-of-27 from the arc on the evening.

The Mustangs next barrage of bombs came in the third quarter as four three-pointers (two from King) kept the game tied.

Milano answered with six treys, three from Sanders, including two in the fourth quarter as the Eagles rallied from a five-point deficit and grabbed a 60-57 lead.

Should the two neighbors meet again, it would be a repeat of last year’s regional final.

“That would be okay with me,” Jones said. “It would be an honor to play them again.”

While Jones said they will put the disappointment of losing behind them, it could be a springboard for success in the playoffs.

“This was a great high school basketball game and that’s what it’s all about,” Milano coach Brad Jones said. “They kept hitting us with body blows and making runs on us. I was proud we answered back.”

Iola

The Eagles finished up their regular season with a 69-29 win over Iola on Tuesday night at Geneva Paceley Gym. It was the final home game for Eagle seniors Dominique Messer, Toby Sanders and Jacob Willingham and they went out in a big way.

Messer led the squad with 24 points, including two slam dunks, along with 13 rebounds. Willingham added 12 points and Sanders five points.

Jentsch and Millar added 13 points each. Jonathon Reyes added the other two points for the Eagles. Efrain Reyes also came off the bench for a solid game.

Milano will travel to face Normangee at 6 p.m. Friday for a warm up game before starting postseason play.

The Eagles finished second in District 25A and will play the third place team from District 26A, which is still being decided.


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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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