With its offense struggling of late, the Old Mill girls basketball team wisely turned to its defense in last night's Class 4A, Region IV final.
Second-seeded and visiting Broadneck (18-6) scored 12 second-half points and committed 28 turnovers overall, as the top-seeded Patriots (22-2) eliminated the two-time defending 4A state champions, 49-35.
Old Mill will make its third trip to the state tournament under coach Pat Chance, and its first since winning the championship in 1985-86.
After going 16-for-66 from the field in Thursday's 45-32 semifinal victory over Severna Park, the Patriots only hit 17 of 47 shots last night. But they applied steady pressure to Broadneck's inexperienced guards, disrupting a Bruins' half-court game geared toward getting the ball inside to 6-footers Andrea Macey, Theresa Cornish and Jen Chapman.
Macey finished with 13 points, but 10 of those came in the first half, which ended with Old Mill ahead, 24-23. Cornish had six points, and Chapman was shut out.
"They kept a lot of pressure on the ball and made it difficult for us to find our big people inside," said Bruins coach Bruce Springer. "I thought we did a good job of doing that in the first half, but in the second half they tightened up a little bit more."