Unfortunately, a 25-point first quarter by the Ironmen was way too much for Milton to overcome, as the Black Panthers lost, 71-35, hurting their chance at an outright title.
"I think our chance (to be on top of league) was to beat (the Ironmen)," DeLong said. "I just don't see a team beating them in the league."
Milton would still have a chance to claim the HAC-I crown if a few things fell their way and Danville stumbles a little. Despite that, the Black Panthers have kept winning this year and it's something the players, and even DeLong, are more than thrilled about.
"We have some great moments after some of these games. They've probably seen a side of me they've never seen," DeLong said. "A lot of tight games; it's been an emotional year. A couple years of frustration that have been spilling over and this is great to see these kids win games and have fun because it's not been fun the last couple of years."
With a District 4 playoff berth in hand, the fun in Milton may just be beginning.
n Jon Gerardi covers boys basketball for The Daily Item. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Jonidial.