A Fast-paced Aacc Finds Road To Victory Started On The Street Pioneers Run Away From Catonsville, 118-101

December 03, 1990|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff writer

CATONSVILLE - The points came quickly and in bunches -- enough to produce both victories for the program and headaches for the statisticians.

The Anne Arundel Community College men's basketball team won its fifth game Saturday afternoon, 118-101, over host Catonsville Community College.

The Pioneers, whose only loss occurred in last month's Butler Tournament, have scored over 90 points in each triumph.

Anne Arundel's fast-paced style has been compared to "street ball," and two of the team's biggest contributors thus far are experts on the subject.

Ronnie Wade (Annapolis) and James Sharps (Meade), who led the Pioneers in scoring Saturday with 26 and 23 points, respectively, weren't members of their high school teams. Rather, they honed their skills on the playgrounds, where asphalt, not hardwood, is the surface of choice.

"It's taken a little more work to learn the system," said Sharps, a 6-foot-3 forward. "It's a lot more difficult on the court than it is on the streets. I just wanted to try it at a higher level. I still need to work on my defense and ball-handling. That will come to me."

With encouragement from friends who knew of his talent, Sharps decided to enroll at Anne Arundel and try out for the basketball team. Now he starts in the front court with Butch Williams (Meade) and Tom Rose (South River).

"He's a tough kid," coach Mark Amatucci said. "He has a great touch, he jumps well and he really wants to win. He has a great attitude."

Wade is the more seasoned of the two, having played at Anne Arundel last year. Erratic and often out of control during that time, the explosive 6-foot guard has matured to become a nice complement to smooth forward-turned-point guard Wardell Chambers (Severna Park).

"Last year it was run-and-gun," he said. "Now I'm better at controlling the ball and my fouls and the tempo of the game."

"In street ball you just run," he said. "In college and junior college, you have to come off a screen, come off a pick. There's a big difference."

Saturday, Wade was instrumental in a typical Anne Arundel spurt that broke open a close game, netting 14 of his 18 first-half points in the final six minutes.

A basket from Catonsville's Clarence Wooten had reduced Anne Arundel's lead to five points, 40-35, before Wade answered with a steal and dunk, a free throw and a three-point shot.

Sharps followed with a steal and dunk, and two Wade free throws gave the visitors a 51-38 advantage.

Anne Arundel scored 12 of the last 16 points of the half, which ended with the Pioneers ahead, 65-50. They eclipsed the 100-point mark with 8 minutes, 25 seconds remaining on a Wade layup.

Catonsville "had a lot of talent, but I thought man-to-man-wise, we had them beat," said Wade, who garnered 21 points in last Wednesday's 98-60 rout of Cecil Community College. "We had more people who could score. We had five or six shooters to their two or three shooters."

Six Pioneers finished in double figures, including Rose with 16 points.

Chambers added 15 points, Jason Sigler (Broadneck) 13 and Williams, 12.

Matt Clavin led the Cardinals (2-3) with 22 points.

Not all was well after the lopsided victory. Amatucci berated his players afterward for letting down midway through the second half and "taking away the nicety of the win."

"It's a shame," he said. "I thought we really played a super game for 30 minutes. The way we were rolling, it was really a good effort."

The Pioneers, now 3-0 in the Maryland JuCo League, receive a stiff challenge this afternoon when they travel to Essex Community College.

Amatucci said he isn't concerned that the Knights may slow the tempo.

"We preach transition, but control," Amatucci said. "We do a good job of filling lanes and getting the ball moving and hitting the open man, and the same is true of our half-court offense. We work on our half-court game as much as we do our transition. I don't have any problem playing a half-court game."

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