Mark Amatucci looks at his Anne Arundel Community College men's basketball team after two games and sees areas that need to be improved.
Scoring obviously isn't one of them.
The Pioneers broke 100 points for the second straight game last night in winning their home-opener, 131-74, over Columbia Union.
Anne Arundel was coming off a 135-108 victory over Howard Community College on Monday. Columbia Union -- also nicknamed the Pioneers -- was making its 1990-1991 debut.
"We're looking to improve game to game," said Amatucci, reciting a familiar philosophy. "It's still early. We have a lot to practice on to be a good team."
The Pioneers have mastered the art of putting the ball through the hoop.
Five different players finished in double figures, and everyone on the current 11-man roster scored at least two points.
Severna Park graduate Wardell Chambers and Meade grad Ray Osborne each netted 27 points, with the latter also grabbing 10 rebounds. Chambers, a sophomore who Amatucci believes is Division I-caliber, is averaging 28.5 points after two games.
Tom Rose (South River) added 18 points, Jason Sigler (Broadneck) 13, Kenny Coates (Severna Park) 11 and Tarik Brown nine. Marc Scott led Columbia Union with 23.
Anne Arundel scored the first 11 points of the game before Columbia Union's Joel Barnabas sank a jumper from the top of the key with nearly four minutes elapsed.
The host Pioneers would run off another nine unanswered points, many off the skilled passes of Brown, to build a 20-2 lead.
Columbia Union used a defensive switch and the substitution of Brown to climb back into contention midway through the first half.
Now playing a zone after beginning the game in an ill-advised man-to-man, Columbia Union started forcing Anne Arundel turnovers. Doug Loveridge took control of the offensive boards, and the hosts suddenly began losing control of the game.
"We got complacent and we lost our concentration," said Amatucci, who watched Columbia Union get within nine points with 9 minutes, 52 seconds left in the first half.
Anne Arundel went on another scoring binge after Columbia Union's Joseph Evans scored off the glass to reduce the lead to nine. The Pioneers reeled off 18 straight points to go up, 48-21, and continued to pull away.
Amatucci did everything possible not to run up the score, including calling off the press and switching to a zone. But the reserves were every bit as effective as the starters.
When a team unexpectantly wins 23 games, as Anne Arundel did last year, comparisons to the past are unavoidable. And while Amatucci normally disdains looking back while in the midst of a new season, even he admitted his Pioneers are "more talented and deeper" than a year ago.
"But whether we come together and create the same team chemistry is the question," he said. "We should have a better team, but will we win more games? I don't know."
What he does know is the Pioneers have won two games in as many tries this season, and they've done so in overwhelming fashion.