All Rob Pierce wanted was another opportunity. The Glen Burnie High guard missed three consecutive foul shots that would’ve given his team the lead early in the fourth quarter against No. 14 Old Mill Friday evening.
Pierce would get his redemption with 56 seconds remaining in regulation, canning a three-pointer to bring cut the Patriot lead to 66-65. On the ensuing Old Mill possession, Pierce came up with a steal and hit a tough one-handed layup, giving the Gophers the lead at 67-66.
“I was just hoping I was going to make that lay-up and wasn’t trying to miss that one,” said Pierce who scored all 15 of his points in the second half.
Glen Burnie didn’t trail again, taking a 72-70 thriller in a huge Anne Arundel County matchup on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard. When the clock hit zero, the Gophers’ faithful stormed the court.
“That’s what we do, we don’t let anything get us down, we just move forward,” said Glen Burnie’s William Brown, who finished with a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
“I haven’t seen that in a long time, tonight’s game remind me of a playoff atmosphere,” said Glen Burnie coach Mike Rudd, whose team improve to 10-3 overall and 7-1 in league. “They [Old Mill] are really good coached basketball team and we are really lucky to get the win tonight. I’m really happy with the way that this is growing and they just keep finding ways to win.”
Friday night’s game had all the elements of a title bout as the two Anne Arundel strongholds went toe-to-toe in a game that featured 10 ties and 11 changes.
A steal and lay-up from Old Mill’s Joe McCargo, who had 15 points in the loss, gave the Patriots (8-3, 6-2 Anne Arundel) the lead with four minutes left in the game. The lead would increase to four at 66-62 with a minute left then Pierce came to the rescue. Glen Burnie went on a 10-4 run in the final minutes with Pierce scoring seven.
“I was shut out in the first half, but in the second I did whatever I could so that we could get the ‘W,’” said Pierce.
Glen Burnie went five of six from the charity stripe to ice the game after struggling for most of the game.
“You can’t coach it, the kids got to make it when matters and they have been pretty good at it when comes to crunch time,” said Rudd. “This team knows how to win to games.”
“Basically don’t choke, don’t worry about it, it’s going in no matter what you think. And we stayed together as a team and that is what helped us win,” said Glen Burnie’s Larry Mike on his team’s late free throw shooting.
In the closing minutes of the third quarter, Old Mill’s Eric Savage connected on two jumpers as he started an 8-0 run that continued into the fourth quarter to tie the game at 52-52. Savage finished with a game-high 20 points.
“We just ran a little junk defense on him and it just made it harder for him [Eric Savage] to get shots,” said Rudd. When he got them he knocked them down, but we made him work for everything that he got.”
Savage, a senior guard, got going early, scoring the first six points for the Patriots. Brown did the damage for the Gophers as made three field goals from close range in the early minutes.
“I just tried to help my team the most that I could and I’m trying to make my team better by making the best shots that are possible for me,” said Brown on his first half performance.
Old Mill delivered the first haymaker as the Patriots went on a 14-4 run from the end of the first quarter to the start of the second quarter for a 28-19 lead midway through the second quarter. Glen Burnie responded with a 9-2 run as Mike scored six of those points for the Gophers, who crawled back into the slugfest as the first half ended.
“Old Mill’s is a good team, but we all came together and we played good defense which gave us the win,” said Mike who recorded 16 points and seven rebounds.
Glen Burnie has little time to celebrate. The Gophers play Southside Academy at the CCBC-Essex Winter Classic Saturday afternoon.
“We just trying to play team ball like we did tonight and just take it with us for the rest of the season,” said Pierce.
CLICK RELATED VIDEOS TAB AT TOP OF ARTICLE FOR GAME HIGHLIGHTS!!
|Glen Burnie 72, No. 14 Old Mill 70|
E. Savage 20, McCargo 15, Jackson 11, Salmond 6, Williams 9, Hinton 6, J. Savage 3.
Mike 16, Pierce 15, W. Brown 13, Spain, Jackson 10, Watkins 5, G. Brown 2.