Kent County’s Miller and Miller are double trouble

WORTON — Kent County took the rubber match from Easton, winning Thursday’s junior varsity boys basketball game, 37-33, behind double-digit scoring from Gavin Miller and Jayden Miller.

Kiyan Hynson’s underhand layup with 44 seconds remaining in the third quarter, which finished off a fast-break set up by a steal from Zayvion Brown at the other end, broke a 19-19 tie and gave Kent County the lead for good.

KCHS matched its largest lead of seven points, 33-26, on a Brown bucket with 2:14 to play. Jayden Miller had the assist, driving the paint and then dishing off to Brown.

The Trojans avenged a 46-41 loss at Easton on Dec. 11.

Also last month, Kent County defeated Easton, 28-19, in a holiday tournament at Queen Anne’s County High School.

The Trojans’ win on Jan. 18 allowed them to take the series with their Easton rivals, two games to one.

In regular-season games only, they are 6-3 with a 3-1 start to 2024.

In last week’s rematch with Easton, Kent County playmaker Gavin Miller went to the bench early after picking up two fouls and he sat for the remainder of the half. Jayden Miller (10 points), Ramon “RJ” Peterson, Tyrel “Teeter” Dean, Tyrie Beck and Hynson picked up the offensive slack so that the deficit was only a point, 16-15, at intermission

Back-to-back baskets from Jayden Miller and Peterson wiped out the 10-9 deficit at the end of the first quarter to give the hosts a 13-10 lead with 65 seconds remaining in the opening half.

Easton’s Dashawn Johnson (11 points) completed a three-point play to deadlock at 13 with 51.3 seconds to go, and the Warriors then capitalized on a turnover on the Trojans’ ensuing inbounds play to regain the lead, 15-13.

Beck’s floater from the baseline made it 15-all with 22.7 seconds remaining, but Easton was back out in front at the break, 16-15, after Johnson drained the second shot of a two-shot foul with 5.5 seconds to play.

Kent and Easton traded baskets to start the second half, and then Gavin Miller and Hynson scored 20 seconds apart to restore the Trojans’ lead for good, 21-19, heading into the final frame. 

Dustin Blue, who led Easton with 13 points, made one of two free throws awarded for a technical foul to close to 21-20 with just 37 seconds elapsed in the fourth quarter.

Gavin Miller and Jayden Miller short-circuited the Warriors’ rally by scoring the next five points — Gavin Miller with a three at 6:47 and Jayden Miller following his own miss at 5:14 to extend the spread to 26-20.

KCHS took its first seven-point lead at 29-22 with just under four minutes to play when Gavin Miller knocked down an NBA three from dead center.

Gavin Miller, who netted 11 of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, scored on the fly off a shovel pass from Dean to maintain the seven-point lead, 31-24, with 3:28 remaining.

Easton got as close as 33-31 on a Neo Miller free throw with a minute and change to play.

KCHS head coach Ervin Christy then called a time-out. “Play clean defense and no fouls,” he told his players.

The Trojans obliged.

Needing to get the ball back, the Warriors intentionally fouled Jayden Miller after he won the rebounding battle under their glass with 30.2 seconds remaining and Gavin Miller on an inbounds play with 16.8 seconds to go. Collectively, Miller and Miller went 4-of-4 from the stripe for the 37-33 final.

In the frenzied last 11.1 seconds, Easton turned the ball over on a traveling call, Kent missed two free throws, and Jayden Miller pulled down a defensive rebound and then held the ball as time expired.

NOTE: The Trojans are on the road this week, at Cambridge and Queen Anne’s. They are scheduled to return home Monday, Jan. 29.

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