COLLEGE PARK — - For the past couple of seasons, the Old Mill boys basketball team has been used to the highs and lows that come in the 32 minutes of each game.
The No. 7 Patriots make the most of their runs and calmly weather their opponents' streaks. In the end, they usually find a way to win.
Thursday night's Class 4A state semifinal game against Urbana was no exception for the Patriots, whose reward is a trip to the program's first state championship game.
After seeing a 20-point third-quarter advantage drop to two points early in the fourth, the Patriots regrouped with poise and resilience to earn a 73-64 win at Comcast Center.
The Patriots (21-3) will meet two-time defending champ Springbrook - a 52-48 winner over Eleanor Roosevelt in Thursday's other semifinal - at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Senior guard Mike Holley scored a team-high 17 points to lead four Old Mill players in double figures. Chris Shaw and Chris Day both had 12 and Eric Savage finished with 11 for the winners, offsetting a 26-point performance from Urbana senior guard Kevin Sowers.
"When we get a little down, we just call timeout and come back and do the same things - work hard, play defense and try to get it back," Holley said. "It feels really good [getting to the state championship game]. Me and Chris [Day], we're seniors, this is our last year, and we wanted to work hard and get to the final."
After Sowers hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 53-51 with 6:54 to play, the Patriots answered with baskets from Shaw and Joe McCargo, then got two free throws from Holley to restore order at 59-51. When Holley made two more free throws with 1:52 left, the Patriots once again enjoyed a 65-55 lead that wouldn't be threatened.
The Patriots got baskets from five players in the first quarter to take a 15-10 lead going into the second. They built the lead to 23-13 early in the second quarter with the help of a 3-pointer from Savage followed by a steal and layup by McCargo before the Hawks answered with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to three points.
Old Mill had the final spurt in the first half - a 9-2 run with the help of a left-handed jam by Shaw and seven free throws - to claim a 32-22 lead at the break.
Springbrook 52, Eleanor Roosevelt 48: The two-time defending state champion Blue Devils (24-1) hit seven of eight free throws in the final 30 seconds to hold off the Raiders, with senior guard Deshaunt Walker scoring a game-high 18 points.
U - Sowers 26, Utt 4, Jarboe 11, Atmonavage 3, Merkel 20. Totals: 18 22-31 64.
OM - Holley 17, McCargo 9, Shaw 12, Savage 11, Pratt 4, Salmond 8, Day 12. Totals: 25 19-23 73.
Half: OM, 32-22