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Milford Girls Basketball Finishes Season Strong

The Milford High School girls basketball team finished one win away from qualifying for the postseason, but the near miss did little to dampen the excitement for its head coach at seeing his team improve down the stretch.
"We finished very strong," said first year coach T.J. Dolliver after the Scarlet Hawks wrapped up the season 9-11. "We were 5-10 and needed to win the last five to make the tournament. We won three straight, lost a tough one on the road in Foxboro, then won Monday night. We won four of our last five."
Milford capped off the season by beating Canton 62-47 behind a season-high 23-point performance by sophomore guard Kate Irwin. Dolliver was able to point to a number of statistics to highlight the team's improvement over the last several games.
"We were averaging in the mid to high 50s (points) for each of those games, which is great," he said. "Until then we were averaging low 40s, so we turned a corner offensively."
Throughout the year, Dolliver has said he wanted the Hawks primary focus to be improvement in the fundamentals. He said he saw big strides in that department and the numbers back him up. Milford improved markedly from the free throw line and turned the ball over, on average, five fewer times per game. Milford scored 13 to 15 more points per game over the final five, Dolliver said.
"It was a struggle to watch the season end knowing how well we started to play at the end of the season," Dolliver said. "We didn't have the chance to play extra basketball and make the tournament but I am definitely proud of all my girls."
Dolliver was especially pleased to see his team rebound Monday in the season finale after having its postseason hopes dashed against Foxboro.
"I told them before the game, 'this is the type of game that tells you a lot about who you are as a person and as a team,'" he said. "If you can gain the motivation for a game like this, it says a lot about you."
Milford graduates one senior from this year's team, second-leading scorer Jill Powers who returned to the program after taking last year off. 
"She really brought an offensive spark, can shoot the ball well and also rebounded well," Dolliver said. He added praise for Irwin, who will return for her junior season.
"She has really developed as a really good point guard over the course of the season, developing both her offense and working on how to be a point guard," he said. "It is really gonna help her next year and the year after."
Junior Nichole Dalgren bounced back from a concussion earlier in the season and averaged 10 points per game over the last five contests of the year. Emma Liskov and Jill Burley are two players who will return and give Milford a lift on both ends of the floor. Liskov led the team in shooting percentage through the first half of the year, and Burley become one of the team's top defensive threats.




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