MILFORD — Curtis Redd and Michael Maroun combined for 10 of Souhegan of Amherst’s 15 fourth-quarter points in the Sabers’ 41-30 win over Division II foe Milford on Tuesday, doing what they could to negate the Spartans’ being in the bonus for the final three minutes of the game.
Of course, it also helped that Milford (2-3) shot 3-of-7 from the free throw line in the period and made just one of its five three point attempts. The Spartans struggled shooting the ball all night, finishing 6-of-24 from beyond the arc as the Sabers (3-1) threw various zone defenses at them.
“I know they can shoot because we see an awful lot of Milford,” Souhegan coach Peter Pierce said. “They might have had a poor shooting night but our defense might have had a little something to do with it. Sam Corbett is quick and when (our) guys are playing at the top, they’re covering a lot of ground. I thought we played them well.”
Whether they were in a 2-1-2 or 2-3 zone, the Sabers were mostly successful pinching the corners to contest looks, and when the ball made its way inside, the length of Maroun and Matt McCool made it difficult for Milford to finish.
Part of the issue was the lack of Gavin Urda, who left the game after turning his right ankle at the end of the first quarter and never returned.
“Everything kind of runs through him,” Milford coach Dan Murray said. “He leads the break and breaks things down to open up other people. All of a sudden they had to learn how to open things up themselves. At times we got the ball into the post and tried to get it into that short corner, but it didn’t work out. If we’re gonna beat a zone we have to be able to take advantage down there.”
After trailing 17-11 at the half, Milford showed life by starting the third quarter on a 9-0 run. Both Jake Greska (eight points) and Ryan Constable (8) hit threes within the first minute and Joseph Shepard tacked on another three the old fashioned way on an and-one lay up and ensuing free throw.
McCool answered with back-to-back buckets to pull Souhegan back in front, and though he finished 11 points, he made most of his impact on the glass and via the pass, coming up with big assists that led to clinching buckets in the fourth.
“Matty might not have put up the big numbers offensively as far as points scored, but he’s responsible for a lot,” Pierce said. “If you watch the game closely he does other things. I think he had 16 and seven or eight the other night. When he gets seven or eight assists we’re going to be pretty good. We’re going to be really good.”