MILLBURN, NJ - It was Millburn's best game of the year Friday night, as they outplayed the West Orange Mountaineers and won by a score of 49-41. The final margin did not accurately reflect a game that saw Millburn constantly execute at the expense of the Mountaineers – Millburn led by double digits for long stretches.
“I thought we played extremely well in all phases of the game,” said Millburn head coach Rodger Blind.
The Millers played an aggressive, efficient first quarter and led 11-8. Millburn had to fight, however, to re-take the lead in the second quarter. They did so at the 2:24 mark when senior forward Tony Bai converted a three-point play to put the home team up 17-15. This was the closest the Mountaineers would get. Millburn continued to play solid, fundamental basketball while pounding it down low through Bai. The Millers took a 22-17 lead into the locker room at the half.
At the start of the third quarter, Millburn picked up right where they left off and surged to a 27-17 lead. Senior guard Gabe Inwood led the charge with hard-nosed defense and crafty passes on the offensive end.
“Tony had his best game of the year, Brian Barkley played well, and Gabe Inwood, while maybe not scoring a lot, did a tremendous job defensively on their best player, Isaiah Scott,” Blind added.
Having the lead forced West Orange to come out of their 2-3 defensive zone and played right into the Millers' hands. By working the high-low game, Inwood and Bai were a force to be reckoned with all night.
Bai finished with a game-high 19 points, junior forward Brian Barkley finished with 11, and sophomore forward David Talpalar also ended in double digits, posting 10 points.
The Millers now look ahead to a Tuesday night home matchup against Bloomfield.