WAREHAM — Emerson Milton has been riding a hot streak for the Fairhaven girls basketball team.
A good outside shooter who's also quick enough to score on fast-break layups and drives to the basket, Milton has scored 53 points in her last three games, including a game-high 18 in Saturday morning's 54-18 South Coast Conference win at Wareham.
"My shots have been falling and I'm just going with it," said Milton, a junior forward who scored 17 points in a 58-30 non-league win over visiting Bishop Connolly on Jan. 5 and finished with 18 points in a 32-31 loss at home to SCC-rival Bourne on Dec. 28. "All I can do is keep playing hard and hope it continues."
Saturday's victory was the third straight for the Blue Devils, who don't have a lot of depth or height, but feature a group of unselfish players who strive to play as a team.
Fairhaven had three other players reach double figures against the Vikings. Junior guard Sydney Burke scored 12 points and the Blue Devils also got 10-point efforts from junior center Abby Thomas and junior guard Maya Medeiros.
"Our passing and defense are getting better," said Milton, who also plays soccer and lacrosse. "We're happy to score points off our defense. We're a better team when we're making steals and running the ball."
Defense has always been a strength of the teams that Jeff Perry has coached at Fairhaven, and this season has been no different.
"Our identity over the years has been playing tough man-to-man defense," said Perry, who's in his 14th season with the Blue Devils. "We've always made teams work hard with the ball. We don't give up easy points. We look to run first and settle into a halfcourt set when the break isn't there, We're not looking to stand around with the ball. We want to play up tempo and push the ball as much as we can, because fast breaks fit our personnel better."
With his team playing its usual tough defense this season, Perry said his squad has also been scoring more points.
"We've never been known for being a high-scoring team, but the kids have stepped it up on defense," he said. "They're very unselfish and they like to share the ball and spread things around on offense. We're playing with a lot of balance on offense. We have a lot of kids who are averaging eight to 12 points a game and everybody's chipping in."
Milton, who's averaging 17.7 points a game in her last three outings, has been especially consistent on offense and she's also been key cog on defense who's helped set the team's fast break in motion with her quickness and anticipation on defense.
"Emerson does it all for us. She played well in a shortened season as a sophomore and she's on everybody's radar screen this season," Perry said. "She's athletic and her three-point shooting has improved. She can get to the basket and the foul line and she finishes in traffic. We're glad to have her and it's good to see her having some success out there, because she works hard and she's a real team player."
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Blue Devils built an 8-2 lead in the first quarter on a layup by Thomas. The Vikings then cut their deficit to 8-5 on a three-pointer by senior forward Laura Pinkston, who scored all six of her team-high points from behind the arc. Fairhaven outscored the Vikings 20-5 in the second quarter to break the game open and end the first half with a 28-10 advantage, The Blue Devils stormed to an 11-2 edge in the third quarter that increased their lead to 39-12 and they outscored the Vikings 15-6 in the fourth for the final margin.
WHAT IT MEANS: Fairhaven improved to 3-3 overall and 1-3 in league play. ... Wareham dropped to 2-4 overall and 0-3 in the conference. ... The Vikings host Avon for a 6:30 p.m. non-conference game on Tuesday. ... The Blue Devils play a 5 p.m. non-league matchup at Westport on Wednesday.
FAIRHAVEN STATS: Six players scored at least two points for the Blue Devils, who made seven of nine free throws and turned the ball over 18 times. ... They were whistled for 12 fouls and reached double-digit scoring in every quarter but the first.
WAREHAM STATS: Freshman guard Zora Andrews finished with four points for the Vikings. ... Sophomore forward Miakya Moore did all of her scoring on a fourth-quarter three-pointer and sophomore guard Keira Pierre also chipped in with three points. ... The Vikings, who converted on one of four foul shots, committed 34 turnovers. ... They were called for six fouls and were held to single-digit scoring in all four quarters.
WAREHAM COACH KYLE ERHA: "It was good to get back to playing, because it was our first game in 10 days. We're still growing and trying to come together as a team. We're trying to build on the good things we're doing."
FAIRHAVEN 54, WAREHAM 18
Emma Bourgault 0-2-2, Emerson Milton 8-2-18, Maya Medeiros 5-0-10, Abby Thomas 4-2-10, Tenley Dakin 1-0-2, Sydney Burke 5-1-12. Totals: 23-7-54
Zora Andrews 2-0-4, Lauren Pinkston 2-0-6, Keira Pierre 1-1-3, Miakya Moore 1-0-3, Desmariah Burns 1-0-2. Totals: 7-1-18
This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: Fairhaven beats Wareham in girls basketball for third straight win