No. 12 Meade (14-4, 6-1) shrugged off a 2-of-19 first-period shooting performance and rallied to slip past No. 10 Old Mill, 71-68, in an Anne Arundel County Class 4A Friendship Division battle at Meade.
David Beck paced the Mustangs to their come-from-behind victory by hitting his last 11 shots from the floor. The senior guard finished with 31 points, including five three-pointers.
"I thought I needed to to give the team a spurt after the slow start," said Beck. "We started slow, but then got a lot of help from the bench. It was just a matter of getting all of our pistons going."
After scoring the first basket of the game, the Mustangs misfired on their next 15 attempts from the field. Old Mill (14-4, 5-1) managed to build a 14-4 lead after the first quarter, but with three quarters remaining the Mustangs were not ready to call it a night.
The Mustangs found their range in the second quarter as they sank nine of 12 from the floor, but still trailed, 34-23, at the half.
"We were really out of sync in the first half and things just started mushrooming," said Meade veteran coach Butch Young. "One guy misses a layup, the next guy misses a five-foot jumper and then we just started to panic. In the second half, we just picked up the tempo on defense and joined in Old Mill's scramble style of play."
Meade came out running in the third quarter, but failed to make a serious run at the Patriots until the waning minutes of the period. A Beck follow-up of a Ron Hubbard free throw cut Old Mill's lead to eight with 23 seconds left. Old Mill squandered its next opportunity down the floor allotting Beck enough time to sink a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead the five.
With the momentum in their favor, the Mustangs tied the game at 58 with 5 minutes, 12 seconds on the clock and then took the lead, 63-62, with 1:58 left to play. The two teams exchanged baskets down the stretch before Beck drove to the basket for what proved to be the winning score with less than 20 seconds to go.
Trailing by one with the clock still running the Patriots had one last opportunity to score but were turned away when Hubbard stole the ball from Nijui Truesdale and fed teammate Jason Thomas for the game's final points.
"It was another exciting game, but it was just a little more exciting for them," said Old Mill coach Paul Bunting. "Now we just have to regroup. Hopefully, this won't mess with our heads too much."