By Michelle Miller
---- — The Milford boys varsity basketball team stunned the defending sectional champions, Hancock, last year by defeating them. The No. 12 seed Wildcats defeated the No. 5 seed, 61-56, in overtime.
South Kortright coach Bob VanValkenburgh said the team was “quick” and “just would not go away” after his team won the championship round of the Pat Grasso Tournament in Laurens.
The Wildcats, who had a 9-7 record, seemed to always hang in there and put in a lot of effort. Will this year’s group be better?
It is too early to tell, according to coach Frank Spurchise. However, he said he is very excited about this year’s squad.
“Practice has shown a lot of positive energy and good chemistry,” he said. “Although we lack varsity experience in several positions, our depth is the best it has been in a few years.”
Spurchise said he still has not determined who his starting-five players will be.
“The starting-five is up for grabs and it has made for some competitive practices,” he said.
The Wildcats have a 13-man roster going into the season. The team will return last year’s starters Peyton Griffiths and William Ward, both guards. Griffiths and Ward will serve as captains.
Also returning will be senior Elijah Coley and sophomores Blake Elliott, Jacob Tabor and Paul Van Warner. Moving up from the junior varsity squad will be Stephen Banks, Max Lang, Tyler Hecox and Brian Atwell. Newcomers will include junior Elijah Rutledge and seniors Parker Fish and Kevin Musser.
The Tri Valley League will be very competitive on both sides, Spurchise said.
“I think it will be a wide open race,” he said. “Each team has their strengths and your team will need to be ready for every opponent.”
The Wildcats will kick off their season on their home court with the return of The Anton Remy Tournament. After being absent for a few years, the MCS Booster Club is sponsoring the event, which will start on Thursday, Nov. 29 and run through Saturday Dec. 1.
The tentative tournament schedule is as follows: (The game slots may change, but these are the teams participating in the event).
Thursday, Nov. 29
6 p.m., CV-S varsity boys vs. Franklin varsity boys
7:30 p.m., Milford varsity girls vs. CV-S varsity girls
Friday, Nov. 30
6 p.m., CV-S varsity girls vs. Franklin varsity girls
7:30 p.m., Milford varsity boys vs. Roxbury varsity boys
Saturday, Dec. 1
1 p.m., Milford JV girls vs. CV-S JV girls
2:30 p.m., Milford JV boys vs. CV-S JV boys
4 p.m.- consolation game (awards)
5:45 p.m.-Milford girls varsity vs. Franklin girls varsity
7:30 p.m.- Boys championship game (awards)