Milton did not deploy the tallest or lengthiest defensive lineups Monday night, but the Red Hawks made it work.
The Milton girls basketball team surrendered just 16 second-half points to beat Jefferson, 49-36, in a nonconference game at Jefferson High.
With a couple forwards out for Milton, the Red Hawks routinely ran lineups with three or four guards. Jefferson wasn’t able to capitalize on its height advantage inside as the Red Hawks defense gave the Eagles problems with their press and zone schemes.
“I thought we executed our game plan real well,” Milton head coach Stacy Skemp said. “We talked about getting in front of those bigs.
“We’ve been playing like that (with three to four guards) for quite a few games, and props to everyone that’s out there. Everyone has to box out. We’re outsized and we have nothing we can do about. The girls don’t let it rattle them or intimidate them.”
It was only the third time this year the Eagles were held under 40 points.
“It was disappointing; I thought Milton played hard and it took us out of our game a little bit,” Jefferson head coach Mark Peterson said. “We couldn’t really get organized in our offense. We couldn’t get the ball inside to use our advantage.”
Jefferson (6-6, 5-5) led 6-1 less than three minutes into the game.
The Eagles led for most of the first half until a basket from junior Julia Steinke put the Red Hawks (5-10, 2-5) up 21-20 with 5:07 left. Those were the final points by either team in the half.
The Eagles took the lead out of the break with a basket by junior Josie Peterson, and they built their lead to 24-21.
But once the Red Hawks got the lead back at 25-24 after a pair of free throws from senior Shelby Mack-Honold, they never trailed again.
The Red Hawks used a 7-0 run—including five points from senior Abbie Campion—to begin to separate.
Campion scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half.
“I’ve been sort out of rhythm, so I’ve been working on my shot,” said Campion, who has combined for 46 points the last two games. “It’s been nice since I’ve been playing inside, so when I turn I can find my players and they’re cutting for me. I always look for my players, and they’re also making me look good.”
Mack-Honold and junior Grace Quade also scored in double figures for Milton with 10 points apiece.
Jefferson sophomore Abby Helmink scored a team-high 10 points.
Milton will take on Oregon in a Badger South conference road game Thursday at 7:15 p.m. Jefferson will also get back into conference play when the Eagles play Brodhead in a Rock Valley road game Thursday.
MILTON 49, JEFFERSON 36
Milton (49)—Mack-Honold 2-6-10, Jaecks 1-0-2, Weberpal 1-0-2, Steinke 2-2-6, Quade 4-1-10, Campion 7-4-19. Totals: 17-13-49.
Jefferson (36)—Madden 1-0-2, Howard 2-3-7, Helmink 4-1-10, Johnson 4-0-8, Peterson 4-1-9. Totals: 15-5-36.
Milton 21 28—49
Jefferson 20 16—36
3-point goals—Milton 2 (Quade, Campion), Jefferson 1 (Helmink). Free throws missed—Milton 4, Jefferson 6. Total fouls Milton 15, Jefferson 16.