By Scott Dudinskie
The Daily Item
MILTON -- They call Milton's gym "The Jungle," and it's served the Black Panthers very well over the years.
For the Shikellamy girls on Tuesday, though, it was very much a house of horrors.
The Braves, playing with a share of the Heartland-II lead on the line, were thoroughly frustrated over the course of their 47-39 loss to division-leading Milton.
Shikellamy shot 35 percent from the floor and a costly 39 percent from the line, in addition to committing 21 turnovers and 24 fouls. The fouls sent three Braves starters to the bench long before game's end.
For its part, Milton played well defensively and did good work in the paint on both ends, creating close looks at the hoop and out-rebounding Shikellamy 42-26.
"Our defense had been pretty stout for the last seven, eight games," said Black Panthers coach Aaron Slusser. "What we told the girls (Monday), after we watched a lot film of Shik, was we've got to get back to playing better defense (because) we played very little defense (Saturday in a loss at Shamokin).
"We just got back to the way we've been playing."
The Braves had to work hard for shots and rarely found any offensive rhythm.
In each half they had scoreless stretch of 5 minutes, 24 seconds that spanned two quarters. They trailed only 14-11 when they ended the first drought, but the margin was 39-27 when they halted the second midway through the fourth quarter.
Shikellamy -- which cut a 10-point halftime deficit to four points late in the third quarter -- got within 42-35 with 1:17 to play. Milton then scored a couple baskets in the middle to maintain its lead.
"It was pretty intense," said Milton senior Emily Baker. "Our goal was to keeping going hard. We came out a little weak in the second half, but we were going pretty strong after a while. We were controlling the boards and getting the fouls and we were doing decent with our foul shots."