Millora-Brown gathered them together, one boy flashed a thumbs up, and a mom snapped a few images.
The scene at Patriot High in Nokesville on Tuesday night exhibited why Coach Mike Robinson calls Millora-Brown “the foundation” of South County’s historic run, which will continue Thursday night at Virginia Commonwealth University for the title game against Western Branch.
“Right now I don’t have hair, but when I was 7 and 8 and did have hair, I would’ve dyed my hair, as well,” Robinson said. “He’s a great role model.”
Millora-Brown, who transferred from O’Connell before the season and led the Stallions with 19 points Tuesday, has long experimented with different hair designs and cuts, so before the season, his mom suggested he try dying the top.
“I just think it’s helped me have fun and be relaxed,” he said.
As South County (26-3), a nine-win team a year ago, progressed through the playoffs, first winning the Patriot District and then the Region 6C championship, the fans adopted his style.
Millora-Brown had some leftover blue dye from giving it out on senior night, so he gave it to the kids to sport through the rest of the postseason.
“We have three separate game pictures with him,” said Jennifer McCord, a mom of one of the boys, who also had blue streaks in her hair and will bring her kids to Richmond for the championship.
Millora-Brown’s young fans had lots to cheer for throughout the game Tuesday. He had 12 first-half points and seven in the fourth quarter, including a three-point play with about a minute left that extended South County’s lead to four. Battlefield (19-9) never pulled closer.
The Stallions didn’t falter when Millora-Brown picked up two quick fouls after halftime and missed most of the third quarter.
Instead, South County, trailing by three when Millora-Brown exited, contained Brayden Gault — Battlefield’s all-time leading scorer who led the game with 24 points including five three-pointers — and the Stallions led by two when their leader returned.
“This was the vision when I came here,” Millora-Brown said. “We all thought we had a chance, and now we’re seeing it come true.”
Wakefield beats Edison
In the Virginia Class 5 state semifinals, Wakefield defeated Edison, 82-66, to advance to the championship game Thursday at VCU against Varina. Senior guard Benjamin Horsford scored a team-high 19 points and senior forward Amari Cooper added 18 points for the Warriors.
“It’s surreal, man. I’ve had better teams, and I’m not saying that to discredit these guys,” Wakefield Coach Tony Bentley said. “I thought this year would be a year of rebuilding. . . . These guys have surpassed my expectations.”
Joshua Needelman contributed to this report.