Derrick Millinghaus hesitated when asked what his weaknesses were.
“I’m not sure,” he said. “I know I’ve been working on using my left hand more on my free throws, just in case my right hand gets injured.”
Millinghaus, one of three mighty-mite brothers for the Patriots, looked like the Energizer Bunny during Schenectady’s 83-73 Big 10 victory over Amsterdam Friday night. The 5-foot-11 senior guard poured in a career-high 34 points, including 23 in the first half.
Although the Rams nearly matched the Patriots’ blazing speed, they couldn’t quite contain the eldest Millinghaus, who was in constant motion all night.
“Derrick has all the ability in the world,” said Schenectady coach Mark Sausville. “But he has to lead this team. We have to get him to make the guys around him better. But he never tires, and he always gives us everything he has.”
With 6-6 senior post player Reece Jackson still out with an injury that will sideline him until at least the first of the year, the Patriots used a short lineup that ran, ran and ran some more. Shadell Millinghaus, a 6-4 sophomore, backed up his brother with 18 points, while Devonte Millinghaus, a 6-0 junior, chipped in with 14.
“We have plenty of offense,” said Sausville. “We have the firepower, but we have to get better defensively. We had lapses tonight, but give Amsterdam a lot of credit, because they kept up with us. True, we do have great team speed, but so do teams like Albany, Bishop Maginn and Amsterdam. We gave up a lot of transition baskets tonight.”
Sausville said if his team learns to play better defensively, it could end up being a championship unit, even without a dominating player on the boards.
“I think we are among the elite teams in the Big 10, and we could be among the teams shooting for the Big 10 title,” he said. “But we’re not going to win the Big 10 title by giving up 73 points every night. We have to get better defensively to be a championship team. We also need to pass the ball a little better. When we did hit the open man, we ended up with plenty of layups, and when the guys watch the film of tonight’s game, they’ll see that. But we’ve got to get smarter. We’re not there yet.”
Then Sausville winked. “Still, if I was a fan, I would say that this team is a lot of fun to watch,” he said. “There is a lot of talent here.”
Schenectady opened up the first quarter like it was going to blow out the Rams. Shadell Millinghaus scored two quick baskets inside, and then Derrick Millinghaus caught fire with 12 first-quarter points as the Patriots opened up a 23-11 cushion before settling for a 27-18 advantage after the first eight minutes.
“I thought I was coaching Loyola Marymount there for a while,” said Sausville. “I turned to my coaches and said ‘Can you believe this?’ ”
Amsterdam (1-2) wouldn’t give up, however, and the Rams kept pecking away at the Patriots’ lead in the second quarter. Behind senior guard John Velasquez, senior guard Corey Sumpter and sophomore forward Hector Julia, the Rams got within three, 29-26, before heading into intermission with a 41-34 deficit.
Amsterdam scored 10 of the first 14 points in the third period to whittle the Patriots’ lead to 45-44 with 5:10 left. Sumpter scored four points in the run.
After Derrick Millinghaus nailed a three-pointer to open up some breathing room, Sumpter hit a runner in the lane to get the Rams within a basket at 48-46.
After a driving layup by Derrick Millinghaus, the Rams bounced back again on a layup by Velasquez to make it 50-48, but the Patriots pulled away again to lead by as many as seven before settling for a 61-57 advantage heading into the final quarter. Devonte Millinghaus scored six of the Patriots’ final eight points of the period.
Schenectady (2-0) led by as many as 14, 77-63, in the final period, but the Rams fought back to get within 79-72 on a three-pointer by Ramon Santiago with 35 seconds left. Schenectady hit six free throws in the final 45 seconds to ice the win.
“I think if we play better defensively, we can go all the way to the Federation title,” said Derrick Millinghaus. “We did force a lot of turnovers tonight, but that’s not exactly what we were trying to do. Coach works harder on defense than on offense in practice. We just didn’t execute our defense tonight.”
Farmer 0-2-2, Der. Millinghaus 13-5-34, Dev. Millinghaus 5-4-14, S. Millinghaus 6-5-18, Tarver 1-2-4, Williams 3-5-11. Totals: 28-23-83.
Edgerton 2-0-4, Johnson 6-0-16, Julia 2-1-5, Morrow 3-5-11, Santiago 3-2-9, Sobkowich 1-0-2, Sumpter 7-1-15, Velasquez 4-2-11. Totals: 28-11-73.
Schenectady 27 14 20 22 — 83
Amsterdam 18 16 23 16 — 73
Three-point goals: Der. Millinghaus 3, S. Millinghaus, Johnson 4, Santiago, Velasquez.
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Categories: High School Sports