No. 7 Old Mill scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter to break open a close game and defeat No. 4 St. Mary's, 59-52, in an Anne Arundel County non-league girls basketball game last night.
The Patriots (18-2) moved a step closer to clinching the top seeding in the Class 4A Region IV playoffs. Coach Pat Chance said a victory in either of their last two games will give them the home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Saints (17-8), coming off a 44-39 overtime loss to Seton Keough on Thursday, take part in the Catholic League Tournament next week at the College of Notre Dame.
St. Mary's suffered through a horrendous first quarter, shooting 1-of-18 from the floor and commiting seven turnovers in falling behind, 16-4. The Saints battled back to take the lead, 32-31, on a Randall Goldsborough three-pointer with one minute remaining in the third quarter, but failed to score again until a Heather Greenlee free throw with 5 minutes, 33 seconds left in the game.
By then, the Patriots were leading, 45-33, and on their way toward avenging a 43-41 loss to St. Mary's in the finals of the Noel Classic on Dec. 29.
"Playing two pressure games back-to-back took a toll on the girls," said Saints coach Carmine Blades. "We had a bit of an emotional letdown, but that's no excuse."
Old Mill, which was 22-of-35 from the line, was limited to one field goal in the second quarter and only led, 24-17, at halftime. Goldsborough eventually moved St. Mary's in front, but Old Mill senior guard Sandy Johnson (eight points) sank a jumper to end the third quarter and the Patriots were ahead to stay.
Old Mill sophomore guard Stacy Himes led all scorers with 14 points. Freshman Michelle Salmon added 11 points in only her second non-tournament varsity game, and sophomore Allison Wentworth came off the bench to contribute seven points and 11 rebounds.
Goldsborough scored 12 points -- all on three-point shots -- before fouling out with 40 seconds remaining.