When the Old Mill girls basketball team plays well, everyone gets into the act.
On offense, the Patriots have several outside shooters who not only have the ability to bring an opposing zone defense to its knees, but also have the quickness to drive to the basket and create havoc in the opposition's frontcourt.
Defensively, the Pats love to force turnovers with their pesky 2-1-2 zone press. And when the opposing team manages to get off a shot,Old Mill crashes the boards with the county's best.
This all-around display was demonstrated in Old Mill's 64-43 win over 4A Friendship Division contender North County Friday night.
The host Pats placed all 13 players in the scoring column, with sophomore guard Stacy Himes leading the way with 10. They also shut down the Knights' scoring machine, Kim Miller, holding the 6-foot center to 13 points, six under her county-leading average.
"I think we did a pretty good job on defense, especially in the first half. But we still weren't as intense as I would like to see them," said Old Mill head coach Pat Chance.
While not completely thrashing the Knights (6-3 overall, 3-1 division), the Patriots (9-1, 4-0) never trailed in the game.
Renita Johnson's follow-up with three minutes, 28 seconds remaining in the first quarter tied the contest for the last time at 8.
Johnson, a slender junior forward who entered the game with a 14-point average,finished with a game-high 17 points while grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking three shots. Four consecutive points by Himes (nine rebounds and two blocks) and a 20-footer by Lee Ann Lezzer (seven points) started Old Mill on a 12-2 run to end the quarter at 20-10.
The second half saw the Pats extend their lead to 18 points with just under a minute to play in the half on a three-pointer by Lezzer. Senior guard Sandy Johnson (eight points), who is recovering from a leg injury, hit the other two three-pointers for the winners.
"We have to start playing harder. We just aren't intense enough out there," said North County head coach Sally Entsminger. "It's like a button goes off inside of their heads, and they start doing things like throwing the ballaway and commiting a lot of unforced errors.
"You just can't throw the ball the way we did and expect to win; (in some spurts) we played like the Little Sisters of the Poor."
The Knights made a last-ditch comeback attempt in the beginning of the second half, holding Old Mill scoreless for more than half of the third quarter.
Johnson, Tonya Kolodziejski (three points) and Miller (game-high 15 rebounds and six blocked shots) each chipped in a bucket to close the Patriot lead to nine at the quarter's 3:05 mark.
Junior forward Cindy Davenport (nine points and five rebounds) ended the Patriots' dry spell by splitting a pair of free throws.
Old Mill put the game away midway through the fourth period with a 30-second, seven-point spurt, with Johnson scoring her second three-pointer and converting a layup offof a steal. Himes sank a driving layup between the two buckets, expanding the lead to 56-38 with 3:34 remaining in the game.
"There wasno excuse for us to run out of gas the way we did," said Entsminger.