After watching her team give up a couple of three-point shots to open the fourth quarter, Old Mill coach Pat Chance called timeout and asked, "Where's the defense?"
Certainly, Broadneck coach Bruce Springer and his players had seen enough of it for one night.
The second-seeded Bruins didn't score more than eight points in any of the first three quarters in losing to top-seeded Old Mill, 62-32, in the Class 4A, Region IV finals.
The Patriots (23-1), winners of 18 straight, begin their quest for a second consecutive 4A state title Thursday at Catonsville Community College. They've eliminated Broadneck (20-4) in the
past two regional finals.
Twelve Patriots scored, led by junior forward Stacy Himes with 14 points. But it was Old Mill's swarming defense that proved the difference, forcing 28 turnovers and limiting the Bruins to nine field goals.
"They're very intense and they anticipate very well. And they cover for each other very well," Springer said.
Broadneck, which had won nine straight since losing to Old Mill, 51-47 on Jan. 31, went 9-for-32 from the field. The Bruins' high scorer was senior center Jen Chapman with eight points. Starting guards Michelle Meyer and Ava Tasker combined for two points.
"The first time, we let them stand out there and shoot the ball like crazy," Chance said. "This time, we put more pressure on their guards."
Old Mill never trailed, and the score was tied only once, 4-4. Himes moved the Patriots in front for good with a steal and layup, and teammate Lee Ann Lezzer buried a 17-footer. After Chapman made two free throws, Old Mill's Michelle Salmon scored off a Himes pass, and newly inserted Amy D'Annunzio made a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 13-6 lead.
Himes also contributed six rebounds, four steals and one block. Lezzer had eight points, including a three-pointer with five seconds left in the first half that gave the Patriots a 26-14 lead.
Old Mill put the game out of reach in the third quarter by allowing only two field goals and forcing 10 turnovers. The Patriots' Cindy Davenport and Broadneck's Sarah Bannat traded baskets at the onset, then the hosts scored the next 16 points. Chapman, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds in the first meeting, picked up her fourth foul and went to the bench early in the quarter.
The win leaves Chance only two games away from winning her third state 4A championship in 16 seasons at Old Mill.