Little Milligan crowned Small Schools boy’s champs
Published 12:59 am Monday, January 24, 2022
BY BRANDON HYDE
The boy’s Small School Tournament championship game saw Unaka strike quickly after the tip-off as the ball was smacked into the hands of Jacob Wilson, who immediately took it to the basket for a quick two points within seconds of the opening.
A subsequent foul would give the Jr. Rangers an early three-point lead. It looked as if Unaka came to play as they drew more blood with another score on a nice baseline spin move by Austin Lambert and another foul which put Unaka up 6-0 within the first minute of play.
However, Little Milligan was not going to just sit around and be bullied as Chase Davenport drove it down and got a nice pull-up jumper from the foul line to put Little Milligan on the board with the score of 6-2 at the 5:13 mark.
Unaka continued their strong start with an immediate three-pointer from Grayson Huggins putting the Rangers up 9-2. This would be met with a rebound and march down the court by Bryce Fagan with a score after a previous Buffalo basket drawing them to within three points of Unaka’s blistering starting score.
This is where things started to go downhill as the momentum that once belonged to Unaka would shift to Little Milligan and never return.
The eventual MVP, Tuff Robinson, would make a nice move inside after an inbound to weasel his way to the basket to bring the Buffaloes to within one point.
There was a slight pause in the momentum shift as Sully Perkins scored on a jumper putting the Rangers up 11-8. This was met with a lighting strike by Robinson and then a steal and score by Fagan for Little Milligan.
Fagan then assisted Davenport to give Little Milligan their first lead which they would never relinquish.
From this point, it was a constant barrage of scoring by Robinson, Fagan, and Davenport along with supporting scores by Austen Hartner to take Little Milligan to the half with an eight-point lead.
After the half, Robinson led the charge with an excellent handle on the game with lighting strike assists from all over the court. Tuff is his name and tough was his game as Unaka had no answer for this star in the making.
There were glimpses from Perkins for Unaka throughout the game as usual, but this time his supporting cast was not there to supplement his offensive arsenal.
A nagging injury in the first half to Lambert took away the bullying offense that personifies the Rangers and gave them a quick start.
The end of the third saw more of the Robinson, Fagan, and Davenport show as Robinson lasered in another pass to Davenport which then found its way to Fagan for a score before the buzzer that put the Buffaloes up 50-33 at the end of the period.
As the game progressed into the fourth period, Little Milligan would not relent as the game became out of reach in the waning moments of the period, which led the Buffaloes to give their starters a break.
This would lead to back-to-back scores by Unaka, but it was all in vain as the Buffaloes had already driven the dagger in to kill the hopes of any kind of comeback by Unaka.
The Little Milligan Buffaloes took the victory and the small school championship with a final score of 66-49.
The three big scorers for Little Milligan were Davenport with a whopping 26 points on the night, Robinson with 17, and Fagan with 13, but enough cannot be said of Robinson’s overall play in assists, rebounding, and defense.
The Rangers top-scoring trio included Perkins with 17, Lambert with 10, and Huggins with 11.
Little Milligan, 66-49
Little Milligan (66)
Tuff Robinson 17, Bryce Fagan 13, Chase Davenport 26, Asten Hartner 7.
Grayson Huggins 11, Austin Lambert 10, Sully Perkins 17, Aiden Walsh 2, Jacob Wilson 4, Julian Wright 3.
Little Milligan…..18 16 16 11 – 66
Unaka……………15 11 7 16 – 49