Old Mill has found another way to victimize a ranked opponent.
Last night, it was Ravon Austin's play at both ends of the court that lifted the host and 15th-ranked Patriots over No. 8 Broadneck, 68-59, in an Anne Arundel County non-divisional 4A game.
Austin scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the second half. At the same time, he put the clamps on Broadneck's Jeff Vincent, whose 13 first-half points had led the Bruins into a 35-30 lead at halftime.
From there, Vincent was rationed to seven points -- five after Old Mill built a nine-point lead with 45 seconds left -- as the Patriots beat a top-20 team for the fourth time in as many tries.
Meade, Annapolis and Northeast-AA were the first three to fall.
"I'm as surprised [as anybody] to be in this situation," said Old Mill coach Paul Bunting, whose team improved to 11-3 overall and 9-0 in league play. "At the beginning of the year, I said it and I meant it: 'After losing our top eight players, there was no way we could have this success.'
"But I didn't realize that Shawn [Craig], Austin [Johnson] and Ravon would come on the way they have."
Bunting added that Austin "might fundamentally be the best defensive player on our team. He responds to what we teach -- get a good, square position and then get a hand in their face."
And with Austin shutting down Vincent, Old Mill took charge with an 18-4 run to start the second half. Austin accounted for the first three points and the last three on three-pointers from the wing as the Patriots mounted a 43-34 lead with just over 10 minutes left.
Broadneck (11-3, 7-3), which had led until Craig's turning jumper pulled Old Mill even at 32-32 midway through the run, twice fought back within two.
The Bruins were still down by only 57-54, when Old Mill's Nijui Truesdale took a pass in the lane, backed out beyond the arc and swished his fourth three-pointer of the game to open a 60-54 edge with 2 minutes 46 seconds left. Austin hit five of six free throws to keep the Bruins at bay.
In addition to Austin's play, Old Mill earned a 39-32 edge on the boards as Damion Sewell grabbed 14 rebounds. Johnson had 10 rebounds to go with 12 points, Truesdale scored 14 and Terrell Eldridge came off the bench to score eight in the second half.