One of the more interested observers at the IABBO girls basketball tournament at Parkdale last month was Southern coach Linda Kilpatrick,who paid close attention to future opponent Old Mill.
Kilpatrick kept statistics on the Patriots' shooting against Mount Hebron in thefinals and discovered they hit 25 percent from the floor in a 60-41 loss.
"I told my girls at practice, 'Maybe we'll get a little lucky andtheir shooting drought will continue, but don't count on it,' " she said.
As Kilpatrick feared, the Patriots relocated the net. They went 23-of-54 (42.5 percent) through three quarters and never trailed in a 55-42 victory at Southern last night.
Old Mill, ranked No. 3 by The Sun, improved to 6-1. Southern, ranked No. 13, endured its second straight loss and is 4-3.
With her team leading, 49-31, Patriots coach Pat Chance cleared the bench for the fourth quarter, and every available Patriot either scored or had a rebound.
"I thought some things started to jell tonight that haven't in the past," she said. "Our shooting was much better, and we played under control, something we didn't do in the Christmas tournament against Hebron."
Old Mill only committed seven turnovers through three quarters, before some ragged play increased the total to 20 by game's end.
That was about all the Patriots could be faulted for.
They were tied twice and held a 14-12 lead after one quarter. But the margin grew to 12 points, 32-20, at intermission, with junior Stacy Himes leading the way with 10 points and six rebounds.
Chance said Himes had been puttingtoo much pressure on herself this season, but, "all around, it was pretty balanced scoring tonight, and when that happens, nobody has to press."
Himes would match her scoring average with 12 points whilealso pulling down eight rebounds. Two sophomores, Old Mill's Michelle Salmon and Southern's Laekeka Wesley, shared scoring honors with 15points.
One area the Bulldogs couldn't match Old Mill was on the boards, where the Patriots enjoyed a 46-38 rebounding edge. Southern gained an advantage after Chance went to a smaller lineup for the last eight minutes, but Old Mill was comfortably ahead.
Southern alsohad to contend with an Old Mill press that Chance said "can take theshape of anything, according to what the offense does."
"We don'treally design our press to get an astronomical amount of turnovers, but we just like to play pressure defense, and we did get some turnovers off it," she said.
The Bulldogs trailed, 41-30, late in the third quarter, when Old Mill scored eight straight points to force a Southern timeout with 37 seconds left.
"We started over-passing, and-- I have to take a lot of blame for this -- I had people in there that weren't rested, and when (Old Mill) scored four buckets in a row that did us in; that was my fault," Kilpatrick said. "I should have seen that coming and had them rested, but I got too greedy and tried to get too much at one time."
Old Mill junior Debbie Dawson scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds, and junior guard Christine Baer added six points and four rebounds. Junior Anne Chicorelli, who raninto early foul trouble, and freshman Tinnell Slade each had four points, and the pair combined for 11 rebounds.
Sophomore Leketia Mullen had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Southern. Seniors Talaya Barnett and Lindee Sisk added seven and six points, respectively.