Milford girls' season ends in district final


The Milford girls’ basketball team saw its season end one game short of a state tournament berth.

The Eagles (16-7) were at Minden Feb. 23 and lost to the Whippets 47-34. Coach Bryce Roth said the Eagles knew Minden’s size and length would be a problem to counter.

Despite that, Milford led 9-8 in the first quarter and did a good job attacking the Minden press, he said. Foul trouble limited Izzy Yeackley and Ashlynn Miller in the first half, and that led to some struggles, the coach said.

Milford trailed 12-11 and had the ball but turned it over and Minden scored for a 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“We hung in with them and were only down nine at half,” Roth said. “We felt OK, we’re still in this.”

He said the team was prepared for the game and praised the scout team for doing a phenomenal job to help get the Eagles ready.

The Whippets extended their lead in the third quarter, however. Roth said the Eagles got four or five stops in a row but couldn’t score.

“We rushed shots and forced some threes,” he said. “We knew we had to hit threes and we were 13% from three. When we hit, we are a difficult team to manage.”

Milford was 3-24 from beyond the arc, while Minden was 4-14.

“Our girls played their hearts out,” Roth said. “Minden was relentless on the boards.”

Minden had 13 offensive rebounds in the game and 39 overall. Milford had 26 total.

Ayla Roth led the team with 18 points, the only one of the Eagles to reach double figures.

Coach Roth said Milford wasn’t able to get the ball inside enough.

“It hurts, but I’m very proud of the girls,” Coach Roth said. “Minden is a team that knows how to win. Hats off to them.”

He said they turn teams over at a high rate, but the Eagles were able to limit their turnovers to 15. Minden tries to speed up its opponents, and that worked against Milford.

Milford will graduate four – Ava Maple, Addi Mowinkel, Maddie Roth and Mackenzie Watenpaugh.

“They’ve really been a huge part of building the culture,” Coach Roth said. “They committed to the team.”

With four starters returning, the Eagles will bring back a lot of experience. The young players coming up will also be in the mix, he said.

“We are excited about the future,” he said.

He thanked those who went to Minden to support Milford.

“We had a phenomenal crowd. The community support was outrageous,” Coach Roth said.

Having 80 band members make the trip helped build an “amazing atmosphere,” he said.

Coach Roth also credited the assistant coaches and said this year’s team was fun to coach.

“I’m thankful to be the coach at Milford,” he said.