Chargers find a way against Milton
Pesky Milton made the night uncomfortable for the Sussex Hamilton girls basketball team on Monday, but the Chargers still found a way to win, 47-38, improving to 12-1 on the season with some huge conference clashes next up.
Though the Chargers forced 19 first-half turnovers, they needed a 9-0 run late in the half to break a 16-16 tie, ultimately taking a 31-23 lead to the lockerroom. The lead was a tenuous 37-34 in the fourth quarter before the Chargers closed on a 10-2 run.
"We were a little frustrated with our number of turnovers and offensive rebounds that we allowed," said junior Mackenzie Latt, who finished with 24 points. "We wanted to crack down on that in this game, and we didn't do as well as we usually did. It's a credit to them for crashing hard, but it's also what we'll work on."
Milton boasted one of the state's premier seniors in Morgan Blumer, a Florida Gulf Coast recruit who scored 19 points and matched up with Latt most of the night.
"There's always that rivalry when you face a great player," Latt said. "Our coach did a good job with the scouting report, with her tendencies and what to do on defense. When I go against a great player, I just think of it as any other player and try to play my game and do what I'm comfortable with."
Latt drained a 3-pointer, then added six of the next eight points in a run that broke that 16-all tie and spotted the Chargers a 27-16 lead. She scored the last Chargers basket of the first half and first two of the second half to make it 35-25, but the Red Hawks refused to disappear. Blumer hit a 3-pointer that sparked a 7-0 run to make it a one-possession game.
"I love the shots we're getting," Hamilton coach Dan Carey said. "I like how we fought. My biggest frustration was the rebounding; we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. It wasn't just when we were in zone, man, anything, we were giving up a lot of second shots, and to a team that can score like that, you just can't do that. That's been one of our strengths, rebounding, so that's definitely something we need to clean up."
Jenny Shernell delivered consecutive crucial baskets in the home stretch, and she finished with 8 points. Hamilton forced 30 turnovers for the night.
"Our scouting report was very detailed," Latt said. "We always work on containing our players and getting a hand on everything. It was all about hustle, and our team knows all about hustle."
The team will get its biggest challenge to date with a Friday meeting against Brookfield Central in Greater Metro Conference play, with a battle against Divine Savior Holy Angels to follow one week later. None of the three teams have fallen in league competition.
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