MILTON, Ga. — They may no longer be in the same region, but emotions are always bound to be high when Roswell and Milton, who have squared off on the hardwoods since the 1950’s, face off. And those emotions came to a fever pitch in the fourth quarter of Milton’s 76-62 victory.
Milton held a 56-47 lead early in the final period when the Eagles forced a turnover, leading to a quick layup from Christian Wright in transition. Wright was fouled on the play, getting the home crowd on the feet. On Roswell’s subsequent possession, they turned the ball over again, and Evan Hurst put home a dunk despite being fouled.
Roswell (9-8, 2-3) called a timeout before Hurst’s free throw, the chants of the song “Kernkraft 400” filled the gym and Milton head coach Allen Whitehart pumped his fists with fervor as Eagles’ players surrounded Hurst with high fives.
It was a momentum swing that set the tone for the remainder of the game.
Milton had led throughout but had been unable to pull away from Roswell who continually kept within striking distance. But the Eagles’ consecutive scores following turnovers shifted all the energy to the home team for good.
Wright had another standout performance Saturday, leading all scorers with 24 points. JP McGhee added 16 and Ulyric Linton netted 15.
Junior Miles Herron led the Hornets with 16 points, most of his output coming from off free throws. Herron was 12-13 from the line.
For Milton (9-8, 3-1), the win was their second straight after dropping four of five to start the new year.
Roswell’s loss was their third straight. They fell to Woodstock, 57-49, the night before facing Milton.
Roswell outlasted a Milton, 47-40, to earn their third straight win Saturday. The loss was Milton’s sixth straight.
In a back-and-forth contest, the lead changed hands multiple times in the second and third quarter with neither team holding a lead of more than five at any point. The game was tied 30-30 entering the final frame.
Milton’s Erin Foley hit her third 3-pointer of the game to give Milton the early edge in the fourth, but Roswell responded with two straight layups from senior Sophia Burke, who finished the game with 15 points.
With five minutes remaining, Milton’s Grace Armfield hit a three give the Eagles a 38-37 edge, but it would be their final lead of the game.
Working from a 40-37 lead, Roswell held the ball for long possessions to wind down the clock. Free throws from both teams put the Hornets’ lead at 43-40 with 20 seconds left. Armfield missed a long 3-pointer and Roswell secured the rebound and the win.
Lindsay Pruitt scored 15 and added eight rebounds. Armfield led Milton with 13 points, five rebounds and three steals.