Arundel tops Poly in overtime

December 08, 1993|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Contributing Writer

Overtime was the right time for Sean Soyars of Arundel.

Soyars scored six of Arundel's nine points in overtime as the No. 17 Wildcats rallied from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit to score an 86-79 overtime victory over host Poly in the season opener for both yesterday.

The 6-foot-6 center scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half. His clutch shooting began with 53 seconds left in the fourth quarter with a bank shot that sliced unranked Poly's lead to 75-74.

Clinton Young (14 points) stretched the Poly lead to three with two free throws with 17 seconds left, but Kevin Higgins (19 points) sent the game into overtime with a three-pointer six seconds later.

And, in overtime, Soyars took over. Paul Madden of Arundel missed a free throw four seconds into the extra period, but Soyars leaped between Poly players and tipped the ball into the hoop.

"That definitely helped us," said Arundel coach Gerald Moore.

Curtis Wills (16 points) then tied the game at 79 for Poly with a layup. Those turned out to be Poly's only points in the extra session.

Soyars gave Arundel the lead for good with a jumper at 1:08. After a Poly turnover, Soyars hit two free throws with 29 seconds left for an 83-79 lead.

"When [the] team needs a basket and nothing else is happening, I know I need to step up," said Soyars, who finished with 13 rebounds.

Moore said Arundel needed the win against the tough Engineers at home.

"We understand that to be champions we have to win the games we're supposed to win and be in the games we're supposed to lose," said Moore. "We want to be champions."

This was a game filled with wild swings of momentum. Arundel, despite having only 15 minutes to warm up for the game that started nearly 90 minutes late because of a scheduling mix-up, came out hot. The Wildcats scored 11 straight for an early 13-5 lead.

Poly answered in the second quarter by scoring 13 straight for a 31-24 lead. Soyars hit a three-pointer at the end of the first half, and the Wildcats posted the first 11 points of the second half for a 45-39 lead.

Bakari Ward (33 points) sparked Arundel in the third quarter, scoring 12 points in the first 3:15. He made three three-point plays, including one to help the Arundel rally.

Poly rallied, however, scoring 15 of the last 17 of the quarter for a 61-54 lead as the Wildcats looked tired. Moore used only seven players and his five starters played most of the game.

Poly stretched its lead to seven in the fourth quarter, but Arundel slowly took command. The Wildcats went to a 2-1-2 zone defense and stopped running, forcing Poly into a half-court game.

The Engineers started turning the ball over, giving it up nine times in the fourth quarter and overtime. Arundel's defense threw Poly out of sync, and the Engineers made only two baskets in the final eight minutes.

But the Arundel offense was rolling. Higgins and Ward each handed out six assists. Jeff Hedrick had four assists as Arundel passed well.

"Give them all the credit," said Poly coach Bucky Kimmett. "They made all of the key shots down the stretch."

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