Old Mill overtakes Arundel, 45-29

February 23, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

When Arundel upset Old Mill last month, it was the first time the Patriots had lost to a county 4A league team in three years.

For another day, at least, it also is the last.

No. 10 Old Mill recovered from a poor-shooting first half, limited No. 17 Arundel to four points in the final quarter and prevailed, 45-29.

"It was important to beat them for our mentality, to know we could get back into the Old Mill style of game," said senior guard LaNita Talley, who came off the bench to score 13 points, including 7-for-8 shooting from the line.

When coach Pat Chance sent the Patriots onto the floor before the opening tap, she told them to "play smart, play tough."

But they didn't get their first points until junior forward Kerri Eland made two free throws with 1:39 left in the opening quarter.

Their initial field goal didn't come until 26 seconds remained, when junior guard Tinnell Slade hit a jumper in the lane to reduce Arundel's lead to 6-4.

For the half, Old Mill was 4-for-29 from the field, but only trailed 18-16.

"It's got to get better than this," assistant coach Jan Arnold said before the start of the third quarter.

It eventually did.

Old Mill went ahead for good, 27-25, on a baseline drive by Eland (13 points) with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

A free throw by Arundel sophomore Jenny Mottar cut Old Mill's lead to 32-29 with 5:47 left, but the Wildcats went scoreless after that.

Dana Dawson followed her own miss, Talley made a steal and layup, Eland scored on a follow, Talley made two free throws, and the Patriots had their first double-digit lead, 40-29.

Two free throws by Tiffany Slade, a follow by Talley and a free throw by Ebony Simms completed a 13-0 run.

"We played flat. We weren't mentally ready," said Arundel coach Lee Rogers.

Senior Ginger Breneman led the Wildcats (16-4, 9-3) with nine points.

This is the second time in two games that the Patriots have been down at halftime and rallied to win. Friday, they overcame a 10-point deficit in a 56-48 win at Severna Park.

"Maybe we'll keep doing that," Chance said, smiling. "They don't like to play 32 minutes."

With the win, Old Mill kept alive the possibility of passing Severna Park for the top seeding in the Class 4A, East region.

The Patriots came into the game with a point average of 6.68 (107 points), compared to Severna Park's average of 7.00 (119). The two teams play each other today at Old Mill.

Calvert was third in the region with a 5.75 average, followed by Arundel at 5.64, Annapolis at 4.76 and Chesapeake at 4.66. The top six teams make the playoffs.

"As long as we can stay in second, I'll be happy," Chance said. "If we should happen to move to first, that would be fine. We just have to go against Severna Park knowing they're a good basketball team and try to improve on our game -- our shooting especially -- and see what happens from there."

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