No. 12 Old Mill rebounds, 58-45

December 15, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

Two years and 10 months. That's how long it has been since Old Mill's girls basketball team lost to an opponent from Anne Arundel County.

It hasn't happened since Feb. 1, 1991, when North County took a 62-57 decision. But Old Mill recovered nicely that year, winning the first of three consecutive Class 4A state championships.

This is a new Patriots team and a new season. The old dominance is supposed to be missing with so many familiar faces gone, but Old Mill wasn't ready to concede anything yesterday.

Making a drastic turnaround from Saturday's loss to Western, No. 12 Old Mill led most of the way in defeating No. 11 and host Annapolis, 58-45.

Junior forward Kerri Eland had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Old Mill (2-1), which lost to the top-ranked Doves, 62-33, in a rematch of last year's state final. Junior Dana Dawson (14 points, 10 rebounds) and senior Michelle Salmon (12 points) also scored in double figures.

For the Panthers (1-2), who led for the last time, 18-16, with 4:25 left in the first half, seniors Cristi Samaras and Shannon Henderson each scored 11 points, and sophomore Stephy Samaras had 10.

"Playing Western gave us a lot to think about and a lot to work on," said Eland, whose basket tied it for the last time, 18-18. "We worked hard to be ready for this game."

Annapolis coach Dave Griffith was an assistant to Teresa Ross last season when Old Mill defeated the Panthers three times -- including once in the region final -- by an average margin of 30 points. He thought his team was ready to gain a measure of revenge yesterday, but poor execution -- including 41 turnovers -- worked against it.

"We knew that in order to beat Old Mill, we had to run, get an up-tempo game going and play good defense. We didn't do that," said Griffith, whose team was out-rebounded, 42-24.

"They didn't do anything tonight that we didn't expect them to do. We just didn't do what we needed to do."

The Panthers had 29 turnovers and took just 19 shots in the first half, but they led four times until a three-pointer by Salmon put Old Mill in front to stay, 21-18.

Cristi Samaras picked up her third foul and had to leave the game with 3:15 left in the half, and the Patriots stretched the lead to 28-20.

Annapolis repeatedly threw the ball away against Old Mill's press, Samaras was back on the bench with her fourth foul, and the lead grew to 10 points after three quarters and 44-32 early in the fourth.

That's when the Panthers made a brief run.

Samaras returned with 6:16 left, and her layup got the lead down to 44-34. Janelle Queen drove the lane and scored, and a three-point play by Henderson had Annapolis behind only 46-43 with 4:45 left, but that was as close as the Panthers got.

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