The Old Mill boys basketball team has had a season filled with spurts.
The good ones have come along much more often.
Last night at Anne Arundel rival Glen Burnie, the No. 9 Patriots dug out of an early hole with a 16-0 run in the second quarter and then took over in the second half, coming away with a solid 64-51 win over the Gophers.
Senior forward Marvin Pinkney scored 17 points, guard Mike Holley added 13 and fellow guard Chris Day had 12 as the Patriots (17-1) improved to 12-0 in Anne Arundel play. The Gophers (12-6, 9-4) got 15 points from Danny Murphy and 13 each from Tyler Rudd and Justin Kuntz.
Trailing 24-11 early in the second quarter, the Patriots turned up the heat on defense and found their shots at the other end. In a span of 4:30, they forced seven turnovers and scored 16 straight points, with Holley's three-pointer with 2:16 left providing a 27-24 lead.
Old Mill went on a 14-2 run midway through the third quarter to take a 51-40 lead in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to pull away. Five players scored baskets in the run as the Patriots' balanced offense came to the forefront.
"We don't have that kid that's going to drop 25 points every night," Old Mill coach Greg Smith said. "We got some consistent scorers, and it's in a sense unselfishness. That's a good thing about this team - they have a goal to win, and they don't care who steps up."
Old Mill all but assured itself a spot in the county championship game and also stayed at the top of the Class 4A East region.
NO. 1 LAKE CLIFTON 74, POLY 51: : Cleveland Melvin had 29 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks as the host Lakers (17-0) defeated the Engineers.
NO. 5 MOUNT ST. JOSEPH 71, MCDONOGH 67, 3OT:: The Gaels (20-8) made enough free throws to hold off the host Eagles in triple overtime.
McDonogh sent the game into overtime with a last-second three, but Riley Beaumont's eight points in the three extra periods were enough for Mount St. Joseph.
Beaumont finished with 22 points, and Eric Atkins led all scorers with 32 for the Gaels.
NO. 4 WALBROOK 84, DUNBAR 78:: The Warriors (15-2) edged the host Poets behind a 25-point, 10-rebound effort from Roscoe Smith.
NO. 8 MILFORD MILL 77, PERRY HALL 42: : Tevin Hanner had 15 points and nine rebounds as the Millers (16-3) defeated the visiting Gators.
MERVO 55, NO. 11 EDMONSON 51:: Tyrone Smothers had 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists as the visiting Mustangs (11-5) upset the Red Storm.
GRACE BIBLE 55, GRANITE BAPTIST 54: : Brandon Skinner made the winning layup and free throw with 12 seconds remaining as the Crusaders defeated the host Braves to gain sole possession of first place in the Maryland Association of Christian Schools Athletic League.
NORTH CARROLL 59, THOMAS JOHNSON 38: : Caitlin Bach scored her 1,000th career point to lead the Panthers (11-6) past the host Patriots.
The junior reached the milestone in the second period, when she connected on a 10-foot jump shot. Bach is the first player, boy or girl, in the 52-year history of the school to reach 1,000 career points.
NO. 4 SETON KEOUGH 46, MERCY 36: : Asya Bussie had 14 points and eight rebounds as the Gators (19-7) defeated the visiting Magic.
Mount St. Joseph junior Bobby Bowman sighed deeply as his coaches shouted directions, trying to help him elude the grasp of Loyola's Matt Hnatiuk.
Eventually, Bowman, the No. 2 seed at 171 pounds, working and breathing hard, scored a pin with 34 seconds left in the third period to advance to today's semfinals in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association wrestling tournament being held at Mount St. Joseph. But for Bowman, who won the MIAA title at 152 last year, just being able to compete yesterday was a victory.
"I've been out a long time this season with Lyme disease," he said. "My expectations coming in were simply to go as hard as I can for as long as I can. I'm just trying to get my conditioning back."
Wrestlers from 16 teams competed, with four wrestlers in each weight class advancing to today's 9 a.m. semifinals. The finals are set for 1 p.m.
Mount St. Joseph led the team scoring at the end of the night with 123 points. McDonogh was second with 100.5, followed by Loyola (89.5), Archbishop Curley (84.5) and Archbishop Spalding (74).
Besides Bowman, five other individual champions returned from last season and advanced to today's matches - Curley's Brett Pryzwara (119), who won at 103 last year; McDonogh's Albert Woody (130), Curtis Holmes (145) and Alex Pagnotta (189); and Mount St. Joseph's Karl Green (285). Woody, like Bowman and Pryzwara, is competing in a different class this season, dropping from 135.
Woody is the only 2008 winner wrestling down a weight class.
"Last season, I was carrying too much weight," he said after winning both his bouts with pins yesterday. "This year I'm in really good shape, but in this tournament everybody has somebody to look out for. Everyone is a worthy opponent. If it works out, it works out."
Bowman, who continues to fight the Lyme disease with antibiotics, said he has good and bad days. Today he's hoping for a good one.
Baltimore Sun reporters contributed to this article.