Old Mill runs away from North County

January 05, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

As Old Mill coach Paul Bunting spoke to his players before the second half of last night's game against North County, his first instruction was for them not to do anything "goofy."

The only strange occurrence up to then was how easily his Patriots had handled the visiting Knights.

Old Mill scored the game's first eight points, took a 15-2 lead and never was threatened in a 77-58 victory.

Three Patriots scored in double figures, led by Todd Singleton with 17 points. Dee Ballard and Andrew Lewis added 16 and 10 points, respectively.

Both teams entered the game on a roll. North County (4-4) had won the championship of the Bob Pascal Holiday Tournament as part of a three-game winning streak, and Old Mill (4-3) had taken first place in the Northern Holiday Tournament.

The teams also had played better this season than their records indicated. Two of Old Mill's losses (to Meade and Northern) were by a total of six points. Two of North County's defeats (to Arundel and Glen Burnie) were by a total of eight points.

"I told them the only thing that came out of that tournament was gaining confidence, because those games mean nothing," said Bunting. "Keep building and keep believing.

Bunting explained his plea after halftime last night by saying, "We said to come out as if it was a 0-0 game. I didn't want to see anyone start lobbing and trying to dunk and stuff like that. One, you get hurt, and two, it's not what we want to do. The third quarter always is our worst."

Old Mill outscored the Knights 21-8 in the second quarter to take a 44-20 halftime lead. North County trailed 28-18 with five minutes left,but managed only a basket from Tweety Barton the rest of the way. Singleton scored eight points and Ballard added seven during a 16-2 run.

The Patriots went 15-for-33 from the field in the first half and outrebounded North County, 22-9.

A follow by Nate Oliver (nine points) gave Old Mill a 62-35 lead after three quarters, and Bunting started emptying his bench.

"We came out prepared," Singleton said. "We knew we could win the game; it was a matter of us executing. We hit our free throws and passed the ball well."

Old Mill made just five more field goals than North County, but the Patriots were 21-for-32 from the line. The Knights had only 11 attempts, making seven.

"We didn't play very smart basketball. They forced us into a lot of mistakes," said North County coach Brad Wilson. "And at halftime, they had gone to the foul line 19 times to our zero."

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