A couple of days ago, Old Mill coach Paul Bunting was talking about how his team overcame turmoil early in the second half of last season to finish strong, winning nine of its 10 regular-season games. And the Patriots haven't slowed since.
Last night, Old Mill completed a run to the championship of the 13th Wes Unseld Holiday Tournament, defeating Broadneck, 53-43, at Catonsville Community College.
The Patriots (6-1) overcame a 11-point, third-quarter deficit, outscoring Broadneck (4-4), 32-11, to claim their second Unseld title.
Tim Smith led Old Mill with 13 points, including a pair of fourth-quarter three-pointers, and Jason Galloway and Craig Hall each added 10.
"We never got our heads down," said Hall, a 6-foot-5 senior center who was the tourney's MVP. "I never had any doubts about this team. This is a big momentum builder."
Monday, Old Mill defeated Woodlawn, which reached the Unseld finals in 1996 and 1997, in the first round and No. 4 Lake Clifton in the semifinals Tuesday.
The final touch came last night against Anne Arundel County rival Broadneck, which has won a record five Unseld championships.
The Bruins appeared to be heading to a sixth title, building a 32-21 lead after a jumper by Lehrman Dotson, who led Broadneck with 19 points. But the senior guard went scoreless in the final quarter.
Old Mill constructed a 46-38 advantage with 2: 41 in the final period, and Broadneck couldn't sustain a serious challenge in the closing moments.
"That has been our problem all year, not putting together four good offensive quarters," said Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek, whose team scored nine points in the final quarter. "We just let the game get away from us."
Noel Cruz (eight points, four steals) and Hall sparked the Old Mill comeback, scoring all the points in a 9-0 run to bring the Patriots to 32-30 with 1: 31 left in the third quarter. The Patriots forced three straight Bruins turnovers in that stretch.
A three-pointer by Smith gave Old Mill a 36-34 lead with seven minutes left in the game, and he then added a three-pointer to start an 8-0 surge that put the Patriots ahead 44-37.
"We haven't played really good offense to this point, but it's a good win," said Old Mill coach Paul Bunting, whose team won the 1994 Red Division title. "Broadneck is always disciplined, so this is surprising because they're tough to rattle."
The Bruins opened up with an 8-2 advantage, but struggled the remainder of the quarter, turning over the ball on four of their last five possessions. Old Mill also had its problems in the quarter, missing nine of 12 shots with three turnovers.
The Patriots regrouped in the second quarter, gaining a 13-12 lead on a basket by Montese Hensen. The teams exchanged leads four times before two free throws by Dotson and a layup by Jeff Logan put Broadneck up 20-17.
After two free throws by Keith Rogers brought Old Mill to 20-19 with 2.7 seconds left in the first half, Dotson hit a 55-footer at the buzzer and was fouled. He completed the four-point play for a 24-19 Bruins lead.
In the consolation game, Lake Clifton held off No. 10 Randallstown, 66-64.
Dale Byrd led Lake Clifton with a game-high 20 points, and Andre Mouzone contributed 18. Bariki Savage scored 19 to lead Randallstown (6-2).
The Lakers (4-1) led 66-64 with 7.4 seconds remaining after a free throw by Javis Wiggins. Randallstown called a timeout to tTC set up a final play, but wasn't able to get a shot off before time expired.
Milford Mill and Woodlawn finished in fifth and seventh place, respectively. The No. 16 Millers (7-1) held off Edmondson (3-6), 63-62, and Woodlawn (3-6) ran past Hammond (0-8), 78-44.
Smith and Dotson were named to the all-tournament team, joined by Savage, Brandon Haughton (Lake Clifton) and Ed Hayes (Broadneck).
Pub Date: 12/31/98