Veteran Glen Burnie coach Terry Bogle read the riot act to his Gophers at halftime for the first time this season and it resulted in the team's biggest win of the year.
Ninth-ranked Glen Burnie (18-4) outlasted (12-9) Old Mill, 60-47, to clinch the second seed and a first-round bye in next week's Class 4A East Region playoffs.
Glen Burnie will get the winner of No. 3 seed Calvert (Calvert County) and No. 6 seed Queen Anne's. Top-seed Annapolis will play host Thursday to the winner of fourth-seeded Arundel and No. 5 seed Northern of Calvert County.
"We were flat, and it's the first time this year I lambasted them at halftime," said Bogle, who is in his 26th year as Gophers coach. "It was a carry-over from Wednesday [97-62 loss at Annapolis] and it was tough to get going."
Bogle was upset with his team as it went into the locker room at halftime trailing 25-21.
"I told them they were in good position to do something with the year we've had, and we could blow it tonight," he said. "We've had a couple good years recently but we don't have the tradition some of the other teams [like Annapolis] have, and we've got to prove we belong."
The Gophers proved it with a powerful second half led by senior Shawn Mahaney and 6-foot-6 junior Marquise Farmer. Glen Burnie hit 58 percent (11-for-19) of its shots in the second half and made 13 of 17 from the line.
Glen Burnie had hit 10 of 29 (34 percent) in the first half, the same percentage it shot in the Annapolis game.
"I played bad in the first half, and after Mr. Bogle got on us, I knew I had to step it up in the second half," said Farmer.
After scoring seven points and grabbing three rebounds in the first half, Farmer converted a three-point play off an offensive rebound to start the third period, leaving the Gophers a point behind at 25-24.
Mahaney's three-pointer from the corner gave Glen Burnie its first lead of the game at 27-25 with six minutes left in the third period. Point guard William Brown (12 points) followed with back-to-back three-pointers, and Andre Bryan scored the last four points to give the visitors a 37-36 lead to start the final period.
Farmer (game-high 21 points, eight boards, two blocks) and Mahaney (14 points, two steals) combined for 20 of the 23 Gophers points in the final period.
After Farmer made a free throw to make it 38-36 Glen Burnie seconds into the final period, Mahaney hit five crucial points after sophomore Anthony Graves (team-high 13 points, six boards) found senior Nate Oliver (four points, team-high seven rebounds) alone in the paint for a layup and tie score at 38.
Mahaney first hit a 15-foot jumper to make it 40-38 and was fouled attempting a three-pointer with 5:36 to go. He hit all three free throws to put Glen Burnie on its way at 43-38.
Two free throws by Farmer with 2:20 left gave the Gophers a 55-43 lead and iced it.
Starting all its seniors in their final game, Old Mill got 20 points from Andrew Lewis and Matt Tilley (seven each) and Nate Oliver (six) in the first half.