St. Thomas More defeats Milford 71-53 for 9th straight win

Photos special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

MAGNOLIA — St. Thomas More coach Cheston Boyd asked his team for better defense in the second half.

The Ravens delivered by having twice as many steals in the third quarter as they had in the entire first half.

The increased defensive effort helped St. Thomas More pull away in the second half and defeat Milford 71-53 in a nonconference boys’ basketball contest on Tuesday night. The Ravens have won nine straight to improve to 12-3 overall.

St. Thomas More was only up five at halftime, but used a 22-11 run in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Gregory Bloodsworth paced St. Thomas More with 20 points.

“We just focused on more defense and to hustle more,” Bloodsworth said. “We didn’t do that in the first half so in the second half we came out with the mindset to hustle more. It wasn’t a scheme problem or anything, it was aggression.”

Eric Montanez scored 18 points for the Ravens while Alvin West netted 15 and Corey Gordon also finished in double figures with 13.

St. Thomas More was on top 28-23 going into the third quarter before four different players scored on the first four possessions of the third quarter, The Ravens also had four steals in the quarter which all resulted in made layups including back-to-back ones by Bloodsworth.

Meanwhile, the Ravens held Milford to 11 straight possessions without a made field goal.

“We were allowing them to get to the basket way too easily and we were giving up too many offensive rebounds,” Boyd said. “I pride myself on defense and the guys pride themselves on defense. In order to win anything around here you’ve got to play good defense.”

Brion Murray was Milford’s leading scorer with 18 points. The Buccaneers dropped to 8-6 on the season.

St. Thomas More has played eight games this year against teams from outside of Delaware. The Ravens are unbeaten (8-0) against Delaware opponents.

“There’s no out of state teams in the state tournament obviously so it’s good to play a team like this,” Boyd said. “I have a lot of respect for Milford, their coach and they play hard. They’ve got some athletes over there so it’s good for us to be able to pull out a win.”

For a team playing shorthanded, the wide-margin of victory game Boyd a chance to get deeper into his bench to give some of the younger players some valuable playing time.

“Right now we’re missing a few guys but other guys are stepping up,” Boyd said. “All this is doing for us right now is giving those guys some experience that we’ll need later to be a complete team.”

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