Anne Arundel Community College had six players in double digits, while a gritty Ohio Valley C.C. team had only five players and was eliminated from the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Region XX Tournament by 131-100 last night at Anne Arundel.
Thevictory puts the second-seeded Pioneers (25-6) in tomorrow's 4 p.m. semifinal at Allegany Community College in Cumberland against last night's winner between No. 3-seeded Frederick (19-12) and No. 6 Allegany-South (15-13). The other semifinal is set for 2 p.m. with Sunday's championship game at 2 p.m.
Sunday's NJCAA Region XX champion advances to the nationals in Michigan next weekend.
"I don't want to hear that stuff about them only having five people because, hey, he's (Ohio Valley coach) got some quality people," said Anne Arundel coach Mark Amatucci. "If he can't keep them eligible and keep them in school that's his fault."
Ohio Valley (13-13) coach Bruce Feicht explained that his team showed up with just five people because he lost two players to academic eligibility.
"The striped shirts did not do a good job officiating," said Feicht, standing in the middle of the court at the conclusion of the game.
"I'm not saying we would have beaten that team, because they are a good team, but when you're rebounding from behind, there'ssome pushing and shoving going on that's not being called.
"You get two or three of them in foul trouble, it makes it a whole different ballgame. We've been playing with five since the semester started, and we've won, but you can't win with officials like that."
Despite the coach's gripes, the visitors went to the foul line more than the hosts. Ohio Valley was 15-for-23 at the line while Anne Arundel was6-for-15.
Jim Joy of Ohio Valley scored the game's first bucket to give the visitors, who drove six hours in a van to play the game, a2-0 lead. That was to be their only lead of the game, although they did tie it at four with just under 18 minutes to go in the first half.
Ronnie Wade, who led all scorers with 34 points, including six of the Pioneers' seven three-pointers.
A minor academic violation stemming from a misinterpretation of National Junior College Athletic Association rules has cost the Anne Arundel Community College men's basketball team two games, and a player has been suspended for a pair.
The NJCAA ordered the Pioneers to forfeit two games in which RaySharps appeared while taking an extra course to make up work during Anne Arundel's miniwinter semester. The NJCAA determined that Sharps should not have been allowed to play while bringing up his grade-point average above the required 1.75 to 1.88.
As far as the NJCAA isconcerned, the fall semester ended Dec. 21, and Sharps should not have been eligible to play until minisemester grades were released Jan.22. The penalties have no bearing on the team's appearance in the Region XX Division II tournament.
Coach Mark Amatucci confirmed thepenalty that also sidelines Sharps for two games.
Sharps can return Sunday if Anne Arundel makes it to the Region XX final at Allegany C.C. in Cumberland.