McMillan Leads Boyd-Buchanan Past Arts & Sciences
Bucs' Seniors Get Their First Win At CSAS
Saturday, January 18, 2014
- by Jaime Barrett
For everything the Boyd-Buchanan senior basketball class has already accomplished, one achievement has continued to elude the Bucs.
The defending district and region champions earned those titles despite never having earned a win inside the hostile gymnasium at Arts & Sciences, but Justus McMillan and his six fellow seniors ended that streak on Saturday night. McMillan set the tone early with 11 first-quarter points, and finished with 30 as Boyd-Buchanan took control of the District 5-A standings with a 66-47 win over CSAS.
“This is huge, because since we’ve been playing high school ball, we’ve never won in here,” McMillan said. “It’s not really even about the win; it’s about us getting better as a team, and tonight we overcame a tough situation playing in front of a crowd like this.”
After defeating Grace Academy on Friday night, the Bucs had to quickly turn their attention to a second-straight district showdown. Their gameplan included a quick start, and Boyd-Buchanan executed it with a 7-0 opening run.
“We talked about getting the early lead, taking the crowd out of it, and really showing what we could do, and I thought we did a good job of that,” Bucs coach Cole Rose said. “There were some things that we thought would be there for us, and we came out and were able to capitalize, so that was encouraging. And at some point in the third quarter, we needed all of it, so the quick start was definitely big.”
Boyd-Buchanan ended the opening period with a 19-10 lead after five straight points from Austin Walker, and used a 9-0 second-quarter run to take control of the game. McMillan finished with 17 first-half points as his team went into the break up 36-20.
“Our team’s defense is what really gets us going,” McMillan said. “Getting stops and seeing everybody playing together gets the game moving fast, and my teammates help me get open and make it easy for me to make shots.”
Arts & Sciences opened the third quarter with back-to-back baskets from Shunn Moorer, and the Patriots began to get some of the penetration that had eluded them in the first half. Darius Graves then hit a 3-pointer to get CSAS within 11, and the Patriots continued chipping away at the lead until two free throws from Nick Moore got them within 40-34 with 3:05 left in the third.
Those would be their final points of the quarter, however, as Arts & Sciences couldn’t capitalize on several key offensive opportunities, and a fired-up McMillan sparked his team to a 9-0 run that pushed the Bucs’ lead back to 15.
“I feel like we responded well,” Rose said. “They’re a good team, and this is a good rivalry and a great environment, so we knew they were going to make a run. There was no doubt. It was more about us withstanding it, and I was proud of our guys. We took their best shot and then came right back.”
The win gives Boyd-Buchanan a 17-2 overall record and a 4-0 mark in District 5-A play. Walker finished with 13 points, while McMillan’s dominant performance included a game-high 30. Rose said McMillan is just now beginning to find his shot, which may be a scary thought for Bucs’ opponents the rest of the way.
“He’s bought into the system, and that’s made things a lot easier for him,” Rose said. “He’s a very good individual player, but by playing within the system, he doesn’t have to struggle to go one-on-one, because that’s not what we’re really designed for. It’s nice to see that his shots are finally starting to fall. He’s been taking good ones all year, and now they’re starting to fall and everyone is seeing what he’s capable of. He’s just a very good player.”
(E-mail Jaime Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org)
BOYD-BUCHANAN 66, ARTS & SCIENCES 47
Boyd-Buchanan 19 17 13 17 -- 66
Arts & Sciences 10 10 14 13 -- 47
Boyd-Buchanan (66) -- Allen 2, Evans 2, Arendale 3, Justus McMillan 30, Cox 9, Nason, Macon, Austin Walker 13, Jenkins 7, Hodge.
CSAS (47) -- Carter 7, Shunn Moorer 10, Hamilton 1, Brown 2, Dodds 1, Darius Graves 13, Ratliff, Houston, Nick Moore 10, Lansden 2.
3-point goals: Boyd-Buchanan 4 (McMillan 2, Walker 2); CSAS 4 (Graves 2, Carter, Moorer).