Terrell Ross, Meade's working man, did a job on No. 9-ranked Old Mill last night, leading the host Mustangs to a 67-45 stampede, their 15th win in a row.
The No. 5 Mustangs (20-1) clinched a berth in Wednesday's Anne Arundel County championship game at Meade, the pre-designated site.
With a league record of 14-1, Meade can do no worse than 14-2 if it loses at home Monday against No. 20 Glen Burnie. Meade would be in via the tiebreaker and make its third straight appearance in the county final. The Mustangs won two winters ago.
Old Mill (18-3) is 13-2 going into its final game at home Monday vs. North County, and if the Patriots finish 14-2, they have to hope No. 3 Annapolis (20-1, 14-1 league) loses at Broadneck. The Pats would take the tiebreaker by virtue of their 64-61 victory over defending champion Annapolis.
Ross, who doesn't start because a work-study commitment that makes him late for practice but can play any position, came off the bench to score 16 of his game-high 20 points.
About reporting late from the fast-food job he usually gives 15 to 20 hours a week, Ross said: "It doesn't matter as long as we win and I still get my minutes."
He was one of four Mustangs in double digits last night, hitting 10 in the second period and helping lift Meade to a 32-22 halftime lead.
The slender, 6-foot-4 Ross, who also led rebounders with 11 and had three assists and three steals, scored his last four points during a 13-4 run in the first four minutes of the final quarter.
That spurt propelled the Mustangs to a 61-41 lead and put them on their way to topping Old Mill for the second time this season.
"We were pumped up and ready for them, because last time they said we snuck away," said Ross, referring to Meade's 61-59 victory in Millersville on Jan. 12 in which he had game high totals of 17 points and five blocked shots.
No argument from Old Mill coach Paul Bunting, who got 12 points and five boards from Craig Hall and 10 points from junior Jason Galloway.
"They beat us in every phase of the game," said Bunting, whose Patriots have set a school record for wins this season.
"They were better offensively, better on the boards [36-26] and better defensively. Their picks were solid. Ours were exchanges, instead of picks. They were just better in every aspect of the game."
Guards Eric Brown and Doug Underwood (four rebounds) had 15 points and two assists each, and 6-4 swingman Jeff Charles scored all 10 of his points in the second half to go with six boards, two assists and a steal.
"Everybody on this team understands their role and what they have to do, and Terrell has been a real asset," said veteran Meade coach Butch Young, who posted his seventh 20-win season.
"Terrell is such a good team player, and he gets a lot of minutes. We have a bunch of guys who have been very steady, and that's why we've done so well."
Meade, which shot 50 percent (28-for-54) from the floor to 31 percent (18-for-59) by Old Mill, missed its first seven shots last night.
Enter Ross, and the Mustangs then hit six of seven from the floor, three straight by Ross, and took a 12-7 lead at the end of the first period that grew to a 10-point halftime margin. Old Mill hit only 9-of-30 shots in that time.
Pub Date: 2/20/99