Pat Chance knows what it's like to be a decided underdog in the region playoffs.
The Old Mill coach also knows what it's like to overcome those long odds, having seen her team defeat favored Severna Parkin last year's semifinals, 67-63, after losing to the Falcons twice during the regular season by a combined 42 points.
The two teams met again last night in the Class 4A Region IV semis, but now it was Old Mill -- the top seed -- that seemingly had little reason for concern.
The Patriots had beaten Severna Park, 70-57and 60-49, back in January, and the Falcons -- besieged with injuries -- limped in as the fourth seed.
This time, the favored team would prevail. A 10-0 run to close the third quarter propelled Old Mill to a 45-32 win, giving Chance her 300th career victory.
The Patriots missed their first nine shots of the third quarter, as Severna Park turned a 20-16 halftime deficit into a 24-20 lead. But the Falcons closed the quarter with an 0-9 drought.
Both teams struggled with their shooting. Old Mill went 16-for-66 from the floor, while SevernaPark was 14-for-48.
"They were just really tight," said Chance. "It took them a while to get going, but then they made a run to get back in the groove again."
Old Mill (21-2) and Broadneck (18-5) willvie for the right to advance to Catonsville Community College for the state tournament in the region final at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The two-time defending state champion Bruins defeated Old Mill by 20 points in last year's region finals. They lost to Old Mill earlier this season, 46-32.
Old Mill sophomores Stacy Himes (11 rebounds) and Anne Chicorelli (13 rebounds) led all scorers last night with 10 points each. Senior Sandy Johnson added eight points off the bench, and sophomore Allison Wentworth had nine rebounds and three blocks.
Amy Carnaggio and Lori Sharpless scored six points each for Severna Park, andsenior Tina Riley grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds.
Old Mill went 6-for-34 from the floor in the first half, while Severna Park was slightly more respectable at 7-for-24.
After Riley drove the middle for a basket with 4 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first half, neither side scored until 47 seconds remained, when Johnson made a free throw to put her team ahead, 19-14.