Old Mill's win isn't pretty, but it counts

February 07, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Want to know just how ugly a win it was for Old Mill last night?

"On a scale of 10, it would be a 9 1/2 ," said Patriots coach Pat Chance, who headed for the first exit she could find when the game was over. "I had to get out of there. I couldn't take it."

Chance watched Old Mill escape with a 40-38 victory over Meade in a horror show that was also a battle for first place in the North Division of the Anne Arundel County league.

The savior for Old Mill was junior Trell Phillips, who stole a Meade pass on the perimeter with 14 seconds left in the game and took the ball in for a layup and a 39-38 lead.

Six seconds after the Phillips theft and basket, Holly Shaffer picked off another Mustangs pass at midcourt to seal Meade's fate.

Ebony Simms hit a free throw with one second left for Old Mill to account for the final margin.

Old Mill (9-7 overall) moves into first in the North with an 8-4 record while Meade (11-7) drops to second with a 7-5 mark.

The North winner most likely will meet second-ranked Arundel in a one-game showdown for the county championship.

A potential confrontation with powerful Arundel is a scary thought for the Patriots if they play like they did last night. They missed several easy layups, hit only 10 of 23 free throws and seemed a little confused on defense at times.

"Maybe it was the pressure of playing a game that could go either way," said Chance. "Usually, we go into games that we are supposed to win or games we are supposed to lose. Meade beat us the first time [48-39] but we knew we had a chance to win this one. We usually shoot 60 to 70 percent from the free-throw line."

For Meade coach Phil Popielski, the bad times continued last night as his team lost for the fifth time in the last six games.

"We practice the last 30 seconds of the game all the time and then we go out and make those mental mistakes at the end," he said. "And I gave them one point on a technical that came when I didn't really say anything."

Shaffer led Old Mill with 11 points and Dena Eldridge tossed in 11 for Meade.

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