Milner Scores 1,000th Point as Blue Devils Win Croton Tourney
After squeaking out a 47-46 victory over Dobbs Ferry in the semi-final, the Blue Devils entered the final against host Croton knowing a win would bring home the title for the school and that star guard Liz Milner needed only nine points to attain a personal milestone only a handful of Haldane basketball players have reached 1,000 career points. Sometimes the prospect of a player reaching a significant personal milestone like 1,000 career points can disrupt the team’s offensive flow, as teammates look to help facilitate the record and the player presses knowing the mark is in reach.
Fortunately for Milner and the Blue Devils, a mid range jumper in the first quarter put all that to rest, letting the lady Blue Devils concentrate on the game and their opponent and roll to a 44-23 victory. Milner knocked down a quick three, and then proceeded to drain three jumpers to put the matter to rest early. “It was definitely nice to get it done early and not have to worry about whether I can make it or not,” Milner, who finished with 17 points, said after the game. “That way we can focus on more of a team thing.”
Croton offered little resistance against a Haldane squad that used the tournament to rebound from a 60-35 thumping at Poughkeepsie earlier in the week. “It got us back on track,” coach Tyrone Searight said after the final. “It got our confidence back to where we need to be going.”
The Lady Blue Devils had to survive a nail biter in order to reach the final, surviving by the narrowest of margins against Dobbs Ferry. Milner poured in 22 in the semi final to pace Haldane.
Milner and point guard Sam Lisikatos were named to the all-tournament team and Milner captured tournament MVP honors as well. Milner joins Kristin DeMarco, Jen Moran, Meighan Hackett, sisters Aaron and Ryan Nastasi, Brittany King and Brittany Shields as the only 1,000 point scorers in Haldane girls’ basketball history.
Against Poughkeepsie, an 18-4 run in the third quarter blew open a tight game and propelled the Pioneers to the 25-point victory. Haldane was within eight at the break, but was outscored 29-12 in the second half by the athletic Pioneer squad. Poughkeepsie’s fast paced offense pierced the usually stout Blue Devils defense, shooting 44percent from the field for the game and hitting five three pointers. Defensive specialist Kelsey Roa limited Milner to 11 points.
The Lady Blue Devils, who now stand at 4-2 on the season, host Beacon on Wednesday (12/22) and then play in the Slam Dunk Tournament at the Westchester County Center next Monday (12/27).
Haldane’s boys basketball team went 1-2 on the week, routing Children’s Village before dropping both of their games in the Croton Tournament.
Jackson Zuvic’s monster effort propelled the Blue Devils to a 52-34 victory over Children’s Village in the team’s home opener. Zuvic poured in 32 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the win that temporarily moved the Blue Devils to 2-0 on the young season.
Unfortunately, coach Joe Virgadamo’s team had a rough time at the Mayclim Tournament in Croton, dropping a pair of 20 point decisions. In the opener, Zuvic scored 21 points, but the Blue Devils battled deep foul trouble and fell to the host Tigers 58-38. The Blue Devils were within striking distance in the second half when the foul troubles mounted, forcing Virgadamo to go deeper into his bench than he would have liked. Haldane also missed the presence of 6’ 6” forward Will Hoffman, who was out of the tournament due to illness.
In the consolation game the next day, Zuvic tallied 17 despite his own foul troubles, but it wasn’t enough as the Haldane fell to Hastings 50-30. Zuvic picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter, allowing the Yellow Jackets to pull away in the second half. As a result of his strong play, Zuvic was named to the all tournament team.
After a home game this past Monday (which will be covered in next week’s edition), the Blue Devils are off until Saturday, January 8, when they host Putnam Valley. During that time they will need to figure out how to get more people involved in the offense. Zuvic scored close to 60 percent of the team’s points this past week, something that will need to change if the team hopes to have a successful season.