In the first game back since the holiday break, Huron Valley Milford fell to Howell, 54-45, on Saturday, Jan. 8 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) West Division opener for both teams.
Milford stumbled out of the gate and trailed 27-10 at halftime.
“We had a slow start, turning the ball over 8 times in the first quarter and we had 15 turnovers by halftime,” said Milford Head Coach Jennifer VanGoethem. “The turnovers and Howell’s offensive rebounds caused us to go into halftime down 27-10.”
Milford tried to mount a comeback in the second half and outscored the Highlanders, 35-27, but it was not enough in the end.
“Our full-court pressure in the second half gave us some life and we were able to make a great run. We played with great intensity,” VanGoethem said.
Milford was led by Lindsey Bandyk, who scored 14 points. She was followed by Claire Fuelling with 10 points, while Lauren Smith contributed 7 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Howell, the defending KLAA West Division champion, was led by Emily Lorkowski with 18 points. Kaitlyn Stroinski scored 17.
The Mavericks were coming off a two-game split at the Northville Holiday Tournament near the end of December.
Milford will be tested in this week, which began with a road game at Brighton yesterday, Tuesday, Jan. 11 after press time.
The Mavs will next travel to Hartland on Friday, Jan. 14 before hosting Pinckney on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Milford is hoping that the new year will ring in an improved division record, after the Mavericks finished in the KLAA West basement last season with a 1-9 record.
However, at 3-3, Milford is not far from moving past last season’s win total of 7 and looks much improved due to the play of Bandyk, Fuelling and Smith.