An Old Mill team that will have to out-quick most of its opponents this year did just that for most of last night's game and thereby gained n important Anne Arundel County 4A League early-season win.
The smallish Patriots built a big early lead over visiting Meade, then squandered it all before rallying to nip the Mustangs, 56-54, on Damion Sewell's free throws with 59 seconds to play.
Sewell's tosses came after Meade erased a 19-point deficit with a superb 10-minute run led by forwards Brian Parker and Ron Hubbard.
The Mustangs (4-2, 3-2 league) took their first lead of the game, 49-48, on Hubbard's second straight baseline drive with 4 minutes, 27 seconds left.
Meade would twice lead by two from there, but Old Mill (3-2, 2-0) drew even on Will Crowder's jumper with 2:00 to go. Shawn Craig then blocked Meade's Louis Morales in the lane to set up Sewell's free throws.
Meade misfired on three shots, including two difficult chances for Hubbard, in the last 33 seconds.
"As Coach [Paul Bunting] has said, we'll give up a lot of size to a lot of teams," said Craig, who led all scorers with 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds as Old Mill claimed a 30-25 edge over the taller, heftier Mustangs.
"We may not be able to jump with them, but we'll put a body on them and force the ref to call a foul," Craig said. "What we do have to learn is to play four quarters of basketball in every game."
Bunting agreed after watching his charges mount a 37-28 lead before unraveling midway through the third quarter.
"We got impatient. I tell these guys the word for this year is 'patience,' but we didn't run the offense.