Meade’s winning season ends
Meade’s winning season ends
Mustangs upset Patriots, but fall to Bruins in region final in home game March 13, 2019 Jack Chavez Education, News 0 Old Mill's Kyjuan Johnson tries to keep the ball away from Meade's Mazhi Thames as he reaches to steal the ball Wednesday night.The Meade Mustangs’ incredible run to the state 4A East Region final came to a halt with a 78-47 loss to the Broadneck Bruins on Friday, just two nights after upsetting the reigning county champion, the Old Mill Patriots.Though it was an abrupt ending for a team that had set its eyes on the state semifinals, its deep playoff run bucked the conventional expectations of how a young team will fare in the postseason.The loss caps the Mustangs’ record at 19-6, besting last year’s output by three wins — and they did it with just two seniors on the roster.“The way we lost doesn’t distract from our season,” coach Mike Glick said. “Broadneck played phenomenally. They were the better team and if they [continue to] shoot like that, it’s going to be hard for them to lose many games.”Meade’s run to the region final was the deepest it’s advanced since making it there two years ago.
The Mustangs advanced to the state championship in 2015 and 2016, winning it all in 2015.But to even get to the region title game, Meade first had to vanquish a formidable and familiar foe.Getting It DunnIt was Tre Dunn’s night.Meade’s Tre Dunn looks for an open teammate during Wednesday’s game against Old Mill.The senior forward scored 17 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and had eight blocks as Meade sunk Old Mill, 60-57, on March 6.Five weeks prior, Meade blew a halftime lead against the Patriots, due in part to a crucial technical foul against Dunn. It was the second such loss to its cross-county rival this year.That’s not how it played out in the third matchup.It wasn’t a strong start for Meade. Turnovers and clean looks that yielded no points forced the Mustangs into a 5-point hole after the first quarter.A bright spot during the quarter — and one for the whole game — was TJ Speight’s accuracy from downtown. Speight finished the game with five 3-pointers.Meade found its bearings in the second quarter with Dunn creating opportunities on defense.
They even held a 5-point lead before the Patriots surged back and took a 23-22 lead into halftime.Star senior guard Mazhi Thames had been held to just 3 points at that moment, but the Mustangs were determined to write a different ending.So they turned up the heat.Forward Omar Beatty came off the bench and created plays on both sides of the court. Thames came alive with a pair of crucial baskets. Old Mill still couldn’t contain Dunn. And Meade took a 39-34 lead into the fourth quarter.“I try to let them know, we’ve got to step up,” Speight said. “All our players need to step up because if we don’t [all] step up, we can’t win.”The starting five can’t win the game by themselves, Speight said.In the fourth quarter, Beattie, Thames and Dunn combined for 20 of the team’s 21 points before a dramatic finish.With 26 seconds remaining, the Mustangs led by 9 points before a pair of 3-pointers by Old Mill star Avion Robinson cut the lead to 3.Then, with just two seconds left, the Patriots stole an inbound pass from their baseline and a last-second, 3-point heave sailed off Robinsons’ fingers.It missed.And just like that, Meade avenged its prior defeats and sealed its date with Broadneck on Friday for the 4A East Region championship.Speight and Thames finished with 16 points apiece. Beatty contributed 11 points.Mustangs coach Mike Glick made a point to praise Beatty after the game.“Omar Beatty is a player who didn’t play for us for 10 straight games,” Glick said. “In the last two games, he has stepped up immensely and went from a guy who was not in the rotation to playing the whole second half.“He did a phenomenal job of finishing around the basket and playing good defense.”
The victory also marked the 500th career victory for the first-year Meade coach.Glick paused for a moment to reflect, saying that hitting the milestone was “surreal,” then quickly placed the focus back on his players.“Forget about everything with me personally,” Glick said. “To see where these kids have come from — and [how] they supported each other and cheered each other on — it’s the definition of a team. I just couldn’t be prouder.”Hitting The WallMeade simply didn’t have an answer for Broadneck’s aggressive style on Friday.Save for an 8-2 run halfway through the second quarter, the Mustangs struggled to string together any sort of success.“They hit shots,” Glick said. “We did not hit shots that we’ve hit most of the season. They shot the ball very, very well.“They’re a big team but I don’t think their size dominated us, per se. I think if anything, they’re an extremely experienced team who’ve played together [a while].”A raucous Broadneck home crowd certainly didn’t help. Glick acknowledged that challenge but said his team knew what to expect.“Broadneck has not been in this position many times and they’ve got great community support, the No. 1 seed and they definitely had a great home crowd, without question,” Glick said.“I just thought that it was a matter of we didn’t play well and Broadneck played exceptionally.”Speight led the Mustangs with 16 points and Beatty finished with 10 points.
Bright FutureFriday’s loss marked Meade’s farewell to senior co-captains Thames and Dunn. But looking ahead, Glick said there’s plenty to be excited about.Core players like Speight, Beatty and starting forward Josh Bishop are all sophomores, Glick pointed out. And the junior varsity team just finished at the top of its league.“I think our future is very, very bright,” Glick said. “We had a great season and I couldn’t have asked for more support from the families, players and administration in my first year.“I’m extremely proud of this team. I’m as proud of this team as any team I’ve coached. The fact that we got beat in the last game does not distract from what we just did.”