MILTON — On a night where the four Milton seniors were honored for their hard work and dedication to the women’s basketball program, a junior helped ensure these upperclass men scored a victory over Central Mountain Monday.
Junior guard Morgan Reiner scored a game-high 14 points and scored a big second quarter to help the Black Panthers beat the Wildcats, 42-28, in a non-league game on Senior Night inside The Jungle.
The seniors honored on Milton’s evening were Leah Walter, Kiersten Stork, Kyla Rovenolt and Jacklyn Hopple.
“I think our effort was outstanding and I think we played really hard,” Milton coach Phil Davis said. “I thought our shot selection was good, especially in the first quarter, but we just couldn’t knock anything down.”
Central Mountain (5-11) led 10-4 after the first quarter, but the tide turned for Milton (7-9) in the second period thanks to Reiner.
Reiner knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and had eight points in the quarter. One of Reiner’s treys followed a big steal, she also had to orchestrate a swing in favor of Milton that gave the Black Panthers a 14-12 lead.
Another 3-pointer came later in the period for Reiner to give Milton a 16-12 halftime lead.
“It was a high-profile, high-profile game, and once we started to take over in the second quarter, it just continued from there and we couldn’t stop,” Reiner said. “Nothing was falling for anyone in the first quarter, so we knew we had to come out strong in the second quarter if we wanted to get out, and we did.
“We turned it around (in the second quarter). We all had decent points in the quarter, and that just changed the momentum of everything,” added Reiner.
Milton’s defense had a lot to do with the turnaround in the second quarter. The Black Panthers had eight interceptions during the period, which helped force 10 turnovers by Central Mountain.
“Our defensive pressure kind of created our offense in the second quarter, and that defense kind of dictated the play from there. I was very happy with the way they played,” Davis said. “I think anytime your defense can help generate your offense – it just makes those attacking sets a lot easier because you don’t have to set everything up.
“The girls did a really good job with that, and they played really good man-to-man defense,” added the Milton coach. “Central Mountain had a few shots that fell on normal nights, but overall I think defensively we played very solid and very aggressive.”
The Black Panthers lead stretched to double digits (25-14) with 3:48 left in the third after a pair of free throws from Brooklyn Wade.
Then in the fourth quarter, Milton increased his lead to 20 points (35-15) when the Black Panthers started the period with a 10-1 run that was helped by a pair of buckets from Stork, as well as a trey from Reiner and three points from Walter.
“It was obviously senior night, so it’s good for these (four senior girls) to get the win because of how important they are to our program,” Davis said. “So I really wanted to get a nice win for them. These four have done a lot of good things for the program over the past four years, and it showed again (Monday).
Walter finished the night with nine points, eight steals and four rebounds; and Stork had 10 points, seven rebounds and five steals for the Black Panthers.
“Overall, it was just a great night for us,” said the coach of Milton, whose team is now heading to Central Columbia for a league game at 7:30 p.m. tonight.
“Yeah, I think we needed that win. We were a little uncomfortable there, but we have another tough one (today) in Central Columbia, so it will be a real test for us,” the Milton coach said. “It was a good win for us. Central Mountain is a good team and we’re happy to get a win tonight.
Milton 42, Central Mountain 28In Milton
cent. Mount 10 2 2 14 — 28 Milton 4 16 7 15 – 42
Central Mountain (5-11) 28
Marisa Wheeler 0 0-0 0; Mia Kopysciansky 0 1-2 1; Danica Kelly 2 0-0 4; Josey Shultz 0 0-0 0; Tara Mader 2 0-6 4; Taylor Doyle 0 1-2 1; Keely Rohrbach 0 0-0 0; Kiahna Jones 3 0-0 8; Macy Plowman 0 1-2 1.
10 6-17 28.
Amelia Gainer 0 1-2 1; Lydia Crawford 0 0-0 0; Kiersten Stork 3 4-4 10; Leah Walter 2 4-8 9; Cam Roush 0 0-1 0; Morgan Reiner 5 0-0 14; Addison Murray 0 0-0 0; Talya Bardole 0 0-0 0; Brianna Gordner 0 0-0 0; Jacklyn Hopple 1 2-4 4; Abbey kitchen 0 0-0 0; Kyla Rovenolt 0 0-0 0; Brooklyn Wade 1 2-2 4.
12 13-21 42.
Reiner 4, Walter.
JV score: Central Mountain, 30-15.