Huron Valley Milford has the defense and the rebounding to win, but now the Mavericks just need to find ways to score.
That was the message from Milford Head Coach Chip Lutz after his Mavericks fell to Howell, 47-34, on Saturday, Jan. 8 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) West Division opener for both teams.
“Defensively, we played great and we rebounded well. I felt our kids played hard, but we just struggled with our shooting,” Lutz said. “We shot 11 of 26 from the free-throw line and we had a 27 percent field-goal percentage.”
Milford (4-2 overall, 0-1 in the KLAA West) trailed Howell 30-18 at the end of the third quarter and tried to put a run together in the fourth, but fell short.
“We were 5 of 20 shooting in the first three quarters,” Lutz said. “We do a lot of shooting in practice. We let them know that every shot in practice has to mean something.”
Parker Millington led the Mavs with 12 points. Steven Sloboda had 7.
Howell moved to 2-2 and 1-0 in the KLAA West.
Lutz added that his team enjoyed playing at the home of the Detroit Pistons.
“I think the kids were wide-eyed because the arena seems huge. But the kids took it all in and it was a great experience,” Lutz said.
Milford’s week started out on a positive note when the Mavericks defeated South Lyon East at home, 48-34, on Wednesday, Jan. 5.
Sloboda led Milford with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Millington also contributed 13 points and Joey Miller had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Mavs shot 18-for-54 from the field, but were able to make up for the dismal shooting with a strong defensive effort.
Milford also pulled down 23 offensive rebounds on the evening.
The Mavs have a tough week ahead of them, which began yesterday, Tuesday, Jan. 11 after press time, when they hosted Brighton, who came into the game undefeated at 6-0.
Milford will next host Hartland on Friday, Jan. 14 before traveling to Pinckney on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
“Brighton is the defending division champion and we’ll have to handle their full-court pressure and limit turnovers,” Lutz said. “Hartland is a really talented team and we’ll have to control the tempo of the game.”