Thames a winner as Meade tops Old Mill in section final Glick Win 500th
Mazhi Thames might have had a fond memory of last year’s Class 4A East Region Section I final, but the rest of his current teammates didn’t. Thames will have happy thoughts about this year’s game as well, as will the rest of his Meade teammates. Thames, who led Old Mill to a victory over Meade a year ago in the same game, returned to Meade this year and walked off the floor at Old Mill happy once again after his Mustangs held on for a 60-57 victory over the Patriots on Wednesday night at a sold-out gymnasium at Old Mill. Thames scored nine of his 16 points in the fourth quarter for Meade, which had a nine-point lead with 26 seconds left, but still had to survive a last-second 3-pointer that would have forced overtime. Young leads Broadneck over North Point to region final “First half, I was settling for a lot of jumpers,” said Thames, who didn’t score his first points until midway through the second quarter. “In the second half, I just looked to get to the basket and get my teammates more involved.” Meade (19-5) advances to face Broadneck on Friday at 5:30 p.m. in the region final. The Mustangs are shooting for their eighth region title and third since 2015.
“I’m overwhelmed right now,” Meade coach Mike Glick said. “It’s a beautiful moment for me personally, and to see the way those kids have been unselfish all year long and how they had each other’s backs. It’s the definition of a team.” As thrilling as Wednesday’s win was in that it helped the Mustangs advance, it was also the 500th career win for Glick. “I’ve been coaching for a long time,” Glick said. “I’m just blessed to have phenomenal players, phenomenal coaches and a phenomenal administration and teachers who have bought in. It really hasn’t hit me yet.” Tre Dunn led the Mustangs with 17 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocks, TJ Speight and Thames each added 16 points and Omar Beattie scored 11 points off the bench for Meade, which avenged a pair of regular-season losses to the Patriots. Speight hit five 3-pointers in the first three quarters and helped the Mustangs take over the game after going into halftime down a point after the Patriots closed the first half on a 6-0 run. His final 3-pointer of the game came in the final minute of the third and pushed the lead to seven.
“Today was probably the best I ever shot,” he said. “We’ve been working real hard at practice and I’ve been telling the players we need to step up. If we don’t step up, we can’t win.” Dunn was consistent from the beginning. He had eight points in the first half and added nine more in the second half, including seven in the fourth quarter. “It feels great. My whole team stepped up tonight, and that’s all we needed,” Dunn said. “We just needed the energy from our bench and all of our players.” Glick was sure to praise the play of Beattie, who scored nine of his points in the second half.
After Old Mill had pulled within four with just under two minutes left in the game, he scored four points in a 30-second span to push the lead back to eight. “He was a player that didn’t even play for us for 10 straight games and wasn’t even in the rotation,” Glick said. “In the last two games he has stepped up immensely. He went from not being a guy not in the rotation to playing the whole second half. He did a phenomenal job of finishing around the basket and played good defense.” Daevone Johnson and Avion Robinson concluded their stellar careers by combining for 46 of the Patriots’ 57 points. Johnson led the team with 24, while Robinson hit a pair of late 3-pointers that gave the Patriots a chance and finished with 22 points. They both played a role in the Patriots’ region title a year ago and helped them win the county championship game this year. “I’m proud of these guys and I’m proud of what we’ve done,” Old Mill coach Mike Francis said. “I was proud of the way the guys battled.” Glick said the Mustangs will surely celebrate the win, but will get back to work on Thursday for Broadneck.