Southern comes from 18 down to win at Old Mill, 74-72

Boys basketball

January 31, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

The patience of veteran coach Tom Albright enabled his players to keep their composure, and junior Justin Holland seized the opportunity to steal a victory as No. 18 Southern-Harwood stunned Old Mill, 74-72, in Millersville last night.

Old Mill built huge first-half leads, hitting 15 of 28 shots, eight of them three-pointers, five of them by Quintin Dixon and three by Sean Baynham.

There was every indication that the host Patriots (7-10, 5-6) were going to repeat history.

"Oh, man, I couldn't live with another loss to them, " said Holland, a 6-foot-1 junior who couldn't believe the way Dixon and Baynham were scoring threes. "They beat us twice last year and blew us out here the second time, 77-49. We really wanted this one, needed it bad, and I kept telling my teammates to get me the ball. I wanted it."

Down by 18 points at 49-31 near the end of the first half and 17 (62-45) midway through the third period, the Bulldogs (11-6, 8-3) closed the second and third periods strong. They trailed 49-37 at halftime.

"I told the kids at the half that this is not Southern basketball and that we needed to get back in sync," said Albright, whose team was in a four-way tie for second place in Anne Arundel County boys basketball entering last night's game. "I told them not to try and get all back at once and be patient and play our game."

Holland, the team's leading scorer with 18.9 points a game, led a 12-0 run at the end of the third. He scored seven of those points, including the final five, to cut the deficit to 62-57 going into the final eight minutes.

By this time, Dixon, who had 24 of his game-high 30 points in the first half, and Baynham, who scored five of his 18 in the second half, cooled off.

"The pace of the game slowed down late in the third, and we just lost our intensity," said Old Mill coach Greg Smith. "We weren't being patient when we started missing our shots [5-for-18 in the third, 10-for-34 for the second half], and they started getting the ball inside, and we couldn't match up with them."

Adrian Gross, a 6-foot-5 junior center, and 6-3 Matt Hall, another junior, had 16 points each for Southern and combined for 25 rebounds. Gross had a game-high 17 rebounds and three snuffed shots.

Southern shot 61 percent from the field in the second half to overcome 11 three-pointers by Old Mill. Holland led the second-half barrage with 17 of his points, including the last four baskets.

Holland's short jumper with 3:09 left finally tied the game at 68 for the Bulldogs, and after a steal by Chuck Warring, the Bulldogs would go up for good.

Warring's bounce pass in the paint to Holland made it 70-68 Southern with 1:35 left.

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