Old Mill's Jason Galloway, James Wilson and Keith Rogers defined the term of role player last night and the No. 16 Patriots continued on their roll with a 51-40 victory at neighbor Glen Burnie.
Coming off their surprise in the Wes Unseld Classic championship, Old Mill was ripe for an upset and the Gophers were all for it, at least in the first half. Needing a win desperately after dropping two straight in the Meade tournament, Glen Burnie was in a winable situation, but didn't answer the bell for the third period.
With Unseld tournament standouts Craig Hall (MVP), Noel Cruz (Sun Athlete of the Week) and Tim Smith (all-tournament) off their games last night, Galloway, Wilson and Rogers stepped up as Old Mill (8-1) once again found a way to win.
Galloway, a 5-foot-11 junior guard, came off the bench to score crucial baskets in the second and fourth periods while the 6-2 seniors Wilson and Rogers combined for 13 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.
The final basket of the first half was scored by Galloway with a couple seconds left to cut the Gophers' lead to 26-22 and the speedy junior scored six of his nine points down the stretch as Old Mill pulled away.
Wilson and Rogers contained the Gophers' leading scorer, Owen Gaither (17 points, six boards), when he tried to go inside more in the second half after scoring 13 first-half points.
"We need to play together the whole time and everyone has to step up and do their part," said Old Mill coach Paul Bunting. "I think that's why we're having success, Galloway making big baskets, Wilson and Rogers playing great defense and rebounding."
That was never more evident than during probably the most crucial segment of the game midway through the final period.
Smith (six rebounds, three assists) had scored five of his six points in the third period as Old Mill went on a 16-6 run. Cruz tossed in five of his team-high 12 points and the 6-5 Hall (nine points, eight rebounds) chipped in four points as the Pats took a 38-31 lead into the final eight minutes.
But the Gophers (5-4), who hit only 2 of 10 shots in third quarter, went on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 38 on a left-handed shot in the paint by Brian Kellner.
Down the other end, Galloway was fouled, and after making his first of two free throws, missed the second, but Rogers put it back for a 41-38 Old Mill lead.
"We didn't box out on the missed free throw, and we went down and forced a bad shot," said Gophers coach Mike Rudd, whose team lost their third straight without their injured big man, 6-4 senior George Schneider.
"Then they came back down and hit a three [Galloway, with three minutes left] and we're down by six [44-38]. That broke our backs right there."
Glen Burnie never got any closer.
Pub Date: 1/06/99