Catholic Central coach Rich Foglia figured that Derrick Millinghaus was going to get his points after leading Schenectady with over 18 per game last season.
He never imagined that Shadell Millinghaus would score a bunch, too.
“That 23 [Shadell Millinghaus] was pretty much a surprise,” Foglia said after the brothers combined for 52 points Tuesday night in a 76-62 Big 10 win for the Patriots. “If he doesn’t have that kind of first half, we have more confidence. Down two is not bad, but up six or seven, it would have been a much better feeling.”
Shadell Millinghaus scored 14 of his career-high 25 points in the first quarter and also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, and Derrick Millinghaus netted 21 of his 27 points in the second half as Schenectady surged late for a victory in its season debut at the Pat Riley Sports Center.
Shadell Millinghaus reached double-point figures five times as a freshman last season, including a high of 15 in a win over Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons. He nearly matched that with his first-quarter performance, which included four of Schenectady’s nine three-point baskets.
The 10th grader finished with five threes, after making seven in 22 games last winter.
“He’s a workaholic,” Derrick Millinghaus said of his younger brother, a 6-foot-4 swingman. “He worked hard over the summer, and his game changed 360 degrees, as far as scoring and rebounding.”
“A lot of practice. A lot of practice,” Shadell Millinghaus said. “I just tried to get better.”
Schenectady got a little better at the defensive end in the second half Tuesday night, and Derrick Millinghaus took over at the offensive end, scoring 10 points in an 18-11 run to close the third quarter as the Patriots broke away from a 39-39 tie.
The guard, who is in line to become Schenectady’s next career 1,000-point scorer, netted 11 more points in a put-away 14-4 spurt to begin the fourth period.
“In the first half, I wasn’t finding my shot,” said Derrick Millinghaus, who is a senior for basketball eligibility, but a junior academically. “I focused on passing and defense, and then it started to come.”
“Derrick can turn it on and off at any time,” said Shadell Millinghaus. “He got his scoring going.”
Shadell Millinghaus had it going first, though, with his early burst giving Schenectady a 24-19 first-quarter lead. The Patriots were up at the half, 33-31, and although Catholic Central (1-1 Big 10, 1-3 overall) drew even three times in the third period, it never went on top.
“He’s got a lot of game to him,” Schenectady coach Mark Sausville said of the youngest of the three Millinghaus brothers, who gave his team leads of 37-35 and 39-37 with putback baskets early in the third quarter. “He went to the glass. He scored for us. He played well.”
“I think his scoring was a pleasant surprise for Mark,” said Foglia. “We never saw that coming.”
One thing Sausville did see was too many defensive breakdowns from a team expected to challenge for its first Big 10 championship since 2005. Kevin Wilkes scored 17 points for the Crusaders, including three open back door layups in the third quarter, Sam Clement had 14 points and Miles Perras closed with 11.
“We’re not going to win the Big 10 title by not defending. We can score a little bit, but you’ve got to play defense to win,” Sausville said. “We gave them good looks and some open layups. We can’t give up points like that. The effort was there, but we’ve got to get smarter. We’ve got to get better. We’re not communicating enough.”
Schenectady was at its defensive best in the opening minutes of the final frame when it turned steals and rebounds into transition points in opening up a 71-54 advantage. Derrick Millinghaus began the 14-4 run with a layup assisted by Shadell Millinghaus and then converted a three-point play, and finished off the spree with a putback basket.
“When they turned up their pressure we made it a priority to get to the basket,” said Foglia. “We didn’t stop and run our halfcourt sets.”
Wilkes scored on a drive to tie the game at 39 before Josh Williams began Schenectady’s third-quarter run with a three-pointer. Derrick Millinghaus produced 10 of the Pats next 12 points before Chris Baez nailed another three to make it 57-48.
Mike McFerran’s putback basket got the Crusaders within 57-50 entering the final period.
“We didn’t want to lose our first game,” said Derrick Millinghaus, who added nine rebounds, four assists and three of his team’s 10 steals. “We had to come out hard. Coach said if we stay after them, we’ll ware them down. I think we did that.”
Sophomore Jallah Tarver had five points from the line and five rebounds in his varsity debut with the Patriots.
Clement 6-2-14, Wilkes 8-0-17, Perras 4-2-11, Woods 2-2-6, Senthil 2-2-6, McFerran 3-2-8. Totals: 25-10-62.
Baez 1-0-3, Farmer 1-0-2, Hill 1-0-2, Der. Millinghaus 11-4-27, Dev. Millinghaus 2-0-4, S. Millinghaus 10-0-25, Miner 1-0-3, Tarver 0-5-5, Williams 2-0-5. Totals: 29-9-76.
CCHS 19 12 19 12 — 62
Schenectady 24 9 24 19 — 76
Three-point goals: Wilkes, Perras, Baez, Der. Millinghaus, S. Millinghaus 5, Miner, Williams.