In Blue Ridge and Miller’s first meeting, the Mavericks’ Gui Guimaraes feasted inside for a double double.
With the addition of Mamadie Diakite inside, Guimaraes wasn’t the Barons’ problem in the teams’ third meeting. This time, the Barons couldn’t slow down a hot-shooting Connor Schroeder or Miller senior point guard Cam Smith.
In the process, Miller out-gunned Blue Ridge 68-56, winning for the second night in a row against the Barons, this time in a Virginia Independent Conference quarterfinal.
Schroeder lit it up from beyond the 3-point line, burying 7 of his 13 3-point attempts as apart of a 28-point effort. Schroeder struck early and often, hitting five of those 3-pointers before halftime to spark the Mavericks to a 38-35 halftime lead.
Schroeder’s shooting kept Miller in it as Afanna Offor came out on fire for the Barons. Offor hit four 3-pointers before the break, with three of them coming in the first quarter as Blue Ridge jumped out to a 9-3 lead against the Mavericks. Offor slowed down in the second half though as Miller extended their lead behind Smith’s steady play.
Smith finished with 18 points, dished out six assists and hauled down 12 rebounds to help the Mavericks on the boards against Diakite, who’s become one of the area’s most formidable presences around the rim.
Offor finished with 18 points to lead the Barons while Diakite had 16 on the night. Noah Brooks finished with 11 points.
The loss ends Blue Ridge’s season while Miller advances to the VIC semifinals where they’ll take on Virginia Episcopal for the right to go to the conference title game.