Thriving in the face of adversity, the Anne Arundel Community College women's basketball team reeled off a 21-7 second-half run Saturday night to bury visiting Potomac State College of West Virginia, 72-52.
Katie Laidley's 24-point effort was the catalyst for the 11-3 Pioneers, who have won their second straight game without the services of second-semester sensation Jennifer Berg.
Berg is a 5-11 sophomore forward who began her short-lived seasonJan. 17 against Harford (72-37 win). A National Junior College Athletic Association ruling declared her ineligible to play any second-semester games because she had not been a full-time student during the first semester. During her five-game stint, however, she averaged a team-leading 17.2 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks per game.
"Thewhole situation has been very tough on Jen," said Anne Arundel athletic director and men's head coach Mark Amatucci. "It's a shame, because none of this was her fault. A while ago, I had heard that another school (junior college) had been in the same position we were in, so I decided to call the NJCAA to make sure that we weren't violating any rules.
"They (NJCAA) said that she was eligible at first, then, a couple days later, we found out different. It's really an unfortunate situation. As of right now, we don't know if the games that we wonwith her will be forfeited -- it's still up in the air. (Nevertheless), we came back nicely on Friday (51-43 win over Dundalk). I think we'll be OK."
Nikki Beall and Laidley led Anne Arundel in scoring in the Dundalk win, with 13 points each, while forward Rhonda DeShaw played the role of defensive stopper while adding nine points and eight rebounds.
Against Potomac State (4-7), Sarah Krucoff scored 15; Beall, 13; Amy Hercha, 10; and DeShaw, nine.
"I've talked to Jen, and I've told her that none of this is her fault," said first-year Pioneer head coach Tom Smith. "It would have been nice to have her herefor the rest of the season. I really feel that she can play at the Division I level.
"I still have a very good group of kids here, andwe're playing very well as a team. We're still having fun, and I'm having fun coaching them. We may only have seven players, but they're giving it all they have, and we're doing everything right -- passing,defense, shooting, everything."
Deadlocked 28-28 at the half, Anne Arundel put together a 13-3 run during the first seven minutes of the second stanza. Sarah Krucoff's three-point bucket at the 11:50 mark after a brief Potomac State comeback put the Pioneers up 46-36. Eight minutes later, DeShaw converted a layup to give the hosts their biggest lead of the night, 64-43.
"We just haven't been getting the breaks," said Lady Cats head coach Elizabeth Hudson. "The baskets haven't been falling for us lately. This is our third straight loss, andin each game, the same things have been happening to us -- we put one up, and it'll roll around the rim nine or 10 times and fall out. How do you fight it?
"It wasn't a case of being outclassed, we just didn't have our act together."
Jody Hockensmith led Potomac State,scoring a game-high 25 points, while Barbara Barbito tallied 11.