Old Mill peaks at right time, to go for title vs. Annapolis Barnes is key to 68-60 win over Chesapeake-AA

March 01, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

As far as Old Mill coach Paul Bunting is concerned, the Patriots are 2-0 this season.

The Patriots picked up what Bunting calls their second victory of the season last night by downing host Chesapeake-AA, 68-60, in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4A East region playoffs.

The win earned Old Mill, a team with an 11-13 overall record, a chance to play host to Annapolis in tomorrow's 7 p.m. region championship.

"We've said all along that we can go 0-22 during the regular season and it doesn't make a difference," said Bunting. "With the new open playoff format, it's only a three-game season. In reality, we should be there, but if the opportunity presents itself. . ."

Joe Barnes made the most of his opportunities yesterday, scoring a game-high 26 points, 10 of which came during the pivotal third quarter.

A strong second-quarter finish by Remar Thompson (11 points) helped Old Mill secure a 33-19 lead at the half. Barnes opened the second half by scoring the Patriots' next 10 points to give Old Mill a 41-21 lead with 4:24 remaining in the third quarter.

A three-pointer by John Jennings (14 points) ended a four-minute drought for the Cougars (9-15) and set off an eight-point run that enabled Chesapeake to pull to within 41-29.

Sophomore Ray Wagner, the Cougars' leading scorer with 20 points, took over early in the fourth quarter and led Chesapeake on another 8-0 run. Wagner hit a jumper just inside the arc and then followed up a shot to cut the lead to nine with 5:33 remaining.

Chesapeake found itself trailing by only eight with 3:12 left after another three-pointer by Jenkins, but that was close as the Cougars would get.

Old Mill hit seven of 10 foul shots down the stretch and 19 of 28 on the night, while Chesapeake converted only 11 of 20 shots at the line.

Anthony Graves, a 6-foot-5 senior for Old Mill, was held to five points in the second half but his presence inside and his 13 points came in handy down the stretch. Patriots senior guard Brian Bogle did his job of distributing the ball while adding nine points.

"We talked at halftime and I told them that we can't let them play harder than us and for awhile there they were playing harder," said Chesapeake coach John Spinnenweber.

"If Old Mill plays that hard against Annapolis or Calvert, it's going to be a real close game because, for whatever reason, Old Mill is peaking. They should be tough."

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