For The Dialog
WILMINGTON – Milford, the ninth seed in the boys’ basketball tournament, made the most of its trip to Wilmington on March 4, defeating No. 8 St. Elizabeth, 63-46, in second-round action. With the win, the Buccaneers (16-7) earned a trip to the quarterfinals Sunday at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, where they will meet top seed Sanford at approximately 6:30 p.m.
It was St. Elizabeth that started fast, as Chris Cropper scored on a nice move on the baseline, and Nate Thomas converted a steal for a quick 4-0 lead. Bron Murray put Milford on the board, but Cropper hit a jumper from 15 feet to keep the Vikings up by four. A jumper by Son Martinez gave Milford its first lead, 13-12, at the end of the first quarter.
The Bucs went on a 12-5 run in the first four minutes of the second quarter, led by Martinez and Murray. Milford led, 31-24, at the half despite a little run for the Vikings that included a deep three-pointer by Brian Miles, a Thomas layup and a monster dunk by Cropper that had the St. Elizabeth students going wild.
The hosts went on an 8-0 run to open the second half, taking a 32-31 lead, with Cropper hitting a three and Thomas a field goal. Milford answered and took a 43-48 advantage into the final quarter.
It was all Buccaneers in the fourth, as they jumped on the Vikings early, with Henry Nesmith scoring twice, including an and-one. Miles nailed a deep triple to cut it to 49-43, but Martinez responded with one of his own. That started a 14-3 run to end the game.
Murray had 16 to lead Milford, while Martinez added 13. St. Elizabeth’s season ended at 14-7. Cropper scored 16 and Thomas had 14 for the Vikings.