The third quarter buzzer sounded at Comcast Center on Saturday afternoon, and Potomac’s players trudged dejectedly downcourt toward their bench.
Wolverines Coach Renard Johnson implored his team to hustle back, but down 27 points in the Maryland 3A final, even then they could only muster a halfhearted jog.
Lacking the energy that had driven them to their first state final since 2005, Potomac lost, 84-55, to Milford Mill in a title game into which the Wolverines never managed to find their way.
Potomac sophomore guard Randall Broddie finished with 16 points, but Milford Mill cruised to its sixth state title and third in four seasons.
“Before the game I felt like we were ready,” Broddie said. “But honestly I’m shocked and disappointed we didn’t win. Hopefully we can learn from this.”
Milford Mill (26-2) dominated from the opening tip Saturday, as guards Justin Jenifer (17 points, seven rebounds) and Bruce Watkins (15 points, four steals) sliced through the Potomac defense and led the Millers in transition while forwards Allen Costley (16 points) and Artice Jackson (eight points, six rebounds) were forces inside.
The Millers stretched their lead to as many as 20 points in the second quarter, and when Potomac fell behind, the Wolverines (22-4) started forcing shots and struggled to stay competitive.
Broddie shot just 5-for-18 from the floor, while star junior forward Dion Wiley was held to 10 points — eight below his season average — on 3-for-13 shooting.
“When we get up on teams that are good, they start to force things,” Milford Mill Coach Michael Silverman said. “I just told [our players] ‘Hey. Keep our composure and keep playing the game we’ve been playing for so long this year.’ ”
The second half brought more of the same, as Potomac failed to generate any sustained offense and Milford Mill controlled the glass with a 47-32 rebounding advantage to limit the Wolverines to one shot on most possessions.
Jenifer stripped Wiley and found Jackson upcourt for a thunderous dunk to extend the Millers’ lead to 22 early in the third quarter, and that lead ballooned to 31 after things started to get out of hand.
Potomac loses four seniors from this year’s rotation, but with Wiley and Broddie still expected to be in the fold next season, the Wolverines are already looking toward their future.
“Hopefully we’ll be back here,” Johnson said. “Same place, same time next year.”