The week was a rough one for the Milford boys’ basketball team. The Eagle schedule included the defending Class C1 state champion and runner-up in Auburn and North Bend Central on back-to-back nights. The Eagles couldn’t outscore either, losing to Auburn 57-34 Jan. 2 and to North Bend 58-38 Jan. 3.
Not only that, Milford lost one of its leading scorers to a broken wrist against Auburn.
Micah Hartwig was attempting to block a shot near the end of the first quarter at Auburn when he flipped over the shooter and was injured, Coach Tony Muller said.
“Auburn is a very good team,” Muller said. “We had a hard time breaking their man defense.”
The Bulldogs held a 30-8 lead at halftime. All eight Milford points came from sophomore post Seth Stutzman. Muller said MHS played better in the second half, scoring 26 points, but the deficit was too great.
He said the Eagles played good defense, but just when they thought they had a stop, Auburn came up with a score.
Stutzman finished the game with 15 points and five rebounds.
Against North Bend the next night, the Eagles committed 27 turnovers and trailed 30-15 at halftime. MHS came out of the break with a 7-0 run but couldn’t get closer than eight in the third quarter.
“Then in the fourth we ran out of gas,” Muller said.
One of the challenges going forward without Hartwig, he said, is finding another player to handle the ball. Isaac Yeackley has handled the point guard duties and led the team with 12 points against NB. Bryce Jakub provided a nice lift in the second half with eight points, and both Stutzman and Carson Stauffer were solid on the boards and had two assists each.
The schedule doesn’t get easier for Milford (6-4). The Eagles host Malcolm Friday, Jan. 10, at 7:45 p.m. and travel to David City Saturday, Jan. 11.
“We need to get better at the things we do,” Muller said. “I thought they really played hard and didn’t quit. I appreciate the effort they showed when the chips were really down.”