Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Miller makes game winner versus Coast Guard

Learning by doing is often the only way to truly learn anything.  Former GAIS Eagle Matt Miller and his United States Merchant Marines Academy (USMMA) teammates are learning to win, one game at a time. The Mariners fell just short in overtime Saturday against Susquehanna.  And trailing rival Coast Guard 45-44 with 5:18 remaining Tuesday, Matt’s Mariners looked vulnerable.  But Miller scored 5 points in the final minutes, including a put back of his own miss with 1.3 seconds remaining to clinch the USMMA victory.

The win was only the second of the season for the Mariners (2-6).  But the young team is showing signs of having success in the future.  Successful teams deal well with adversity.  In Saturday’s contest, USMMA led conference foe Susquehanna 70-67 on the final possession. A Mariner fouled a three point shooter with 1 second remaining, and the Mariners eventually lost in overtime.  In an interview played before the live stream of Tuesday’s game, head coach Steve Hayn talked about how proud he was of his team for the way they played Saturday.  This forward looking mentality is likely where Matt has gotten his optimistic outlook on the team’s future.  In texts and calls, it is clear he is focused on winning and growing as a teammate on a successful team.

This mindset had to come in handy last night when a red hot USMMA squad that had built a 32-15 first half lead suddenly found itself trailing late in the game.  Rather than succumbing to the moment, Andrew Williams made 4 of 4 free throws and Miller drained a jumper off the dribble to give the Mariners a 49-47 lead before his last second heroics.  The team may not have handled the moment so well if not for Saturday’s disappointment and for coach Hayn’s guidance afterwards.

The team’s trio of leading scorers are young.  All perimeters players, Miller (13.8 ppg) is a sophomore, David Smith (13.4 ppg) a junior, and Robbie Kennedy (13 ppg) a freshman.  Before breaking for Christmas, USMMA next plays a pair of 4 P.M. road games this Saturday and Sunday at Elizabethtown and Scranton, respectively.

***Here are some posts from the past about Matt Miller, his former GAIS Eagles, and USMMA***

Jan 7, 2014

Nov 21, 2013

Sept 16, 2013

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