Old Mill stops Severna Park, 56-48

February 19, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

Old Mill didn't make any adjustments to its press at halftime of yesterday's girls basketball game, and that was the worst thing that could have happened to Severna Park.

Anticipating that the Patriots would tinker with the alignment after an ineffective first half, Severna Park coach Kevin McGrath had his players "conditioned to run a different break," he said.

"All year, I've been telling people that this group listens so well, and this time they listened too well. They ended up playing right into Old Mill's hands," he said. "I kept telling them, 'This is the same press,' and after I called the second timeout, things went back our way."

But not far enough.

No. 10 Old Mill forced 13 turnovers in the third quarter, scored the first 12 points to overcome a 25-15 halftime deficit and went on to a 56-48 win over the No. 11 Falcons.

Junior forward Kerri Eland led Old Mill (16-3, 10-1) with 25 points, including six free throws in the last 41 seconds. Senior forward Jackie Bardelli added 10 points -- mostly on baseline jumpers -- and junior guard Tinnell Slade scored all nine of her points in the second half.

Sophomore center Jennifer Holmes had 15 points, 13 rebounds and fiveblocks for Severna Park (16-2, 10-1), which had won 11 straight since losing to Bethlehem (Pa.) Catholic in a Christmas tournament.

Despite the loss, the Falcons maintained the top seeding in Class 4A, East, ahead of Old Mill. But that was small consolation to a team that led 13-4 after the first quarter and 23-7 midway through the second.

"Old Mill just got on a roll and I said, 'Geez, this thing has turned around completely,' " McGrath said. "They stayed with their diamond-and-one press and they executed it much better in the second half.

"My girls are pretty upset right now. They played their hearts out, but they were mentally out of sync in the beginning of the second half."

The Patriots were almost out of the game after making just one of 17 shots in the first quarter. By halftime, they were 4-for-35, but an 8-2 run to close the second quarter had given them new life.

"At halftime, we talked about playing together as a team," said Slade, who also had four assists and three steals and combined with her twin sister, Tiffany (four rebounds, four assists, two steals) to harass the Falcons into many of their 30 turnovers. "No one got mad. [Coach Pat Chance] said we just had to play together."

Tinnell Slade hit back-to-back jumpers to give Old Mill its first lead, 27-25, with 4:46 left in the third quarter. There were two more ties before Eland made one free throw -- she was 12-for-15 from the line and also grabbed 10 rebounds -- and Bardelli scored on a follow.

The third quarter ended with Old Mill leading 36-32 and the margin never shrank below four points. Eland scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a three-point shot with 4:32 left that put the visitors ahead 45-36.

"We're young and inexperienced, and the key was I told them not to panic," Chance said. "Our shots weren't falling and I said to just hang in there and start executing. We got it back under control."

Turnovers weren't all that worked against the Falcons. They were called for 22 fouls, compared to seven for Old Mill. They made one more field goal than the Patriots (20-19), but Old Mill converted 17 of 28 free throws.

Severna Park also was missing two players. Starting forward Jen Conner was visiting colleges and taking part in a volleyball tournament in Las Vegas. Reserve forward/center Megan Jones was in Quebec on a field trip with her French class.

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