A loser in the Class AA state semifinals last season, the Old Mill girls basketball team came back this season determined to put together one of the best squads in the history of the 10-year-old school.
Starting one of the tallest front courts in the area, with three players 6 feet or taller, and bolstered by two transfers who've added speed and bench strength, the Eagles may have done just that.
Wing guard Lisa Proutt transferred from Arundel High when her family moved last summer and quickly became a starter. Her outside shooting and defensive skills complement those of point guard Dawn Cohen.
Sophomore Mary Faber, the first person off the bench, also is a newcomer, transferring from Baltimore's Archbishop Keough. Faber usually relieves at guard and fellow 10th-grader Andrea Huck (5-9) spells at forward or center.
Solid at guard and on the bench, Old Mill's strength is down low, where seniors Sue Hopper (6-3), Robin Stoffer (6-0) and Tonya Dailey (6-0) have dominated Anne Arundel County opponents for the past two years.
Old Mill (21-1) has lost only to top-ranked H.D. Woodson in the IAABO tournament.
"We were leading in that game, too, but got caught at the end, 64-60," said Coach Pat Chance. "We've been pointing toward the state title all season. That's been our goal and we don't intend to let up now in the playoffs."
Old Mill's excellent regular season earned it a first-round bye as the district playoffs began this week.
Chance has coached girls basketball in Anne Arundel County for 15 years, making her one of the area's senior coaches. At Old Mill since the school opened in 1975, she thinks this might be the most talented team she's had.
"They've got the talent and the motivation after last year," Chance assessed. "Now, we need a little luck, too."
MCI has announced four Maryland winners in its "Longest Distance Touchdown Competition" for 1985.
Largo's Tony Harris, who ran for a 98-yard touchdown against Friendly, and Paint Branch's Vince Jackson, who did the same against Woodward, led the list. Next were Eleanor Roosevelt's Chuckie Fox, who returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown against Oxon Hill, and Great Mills' Ron Baldwin, 97 against McDonough.