Arundel holds off Westminster, 55-53

January 01, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

For Lee Rogers, his first exposure to the Arundel Holiday Tournament is mercifully a distant memory now.

It was in 1989, his first season as Arundel's girls coach, and the Wildcats lost in the final to Northeast.

"All I remember is that they made a lot of three-point shots," Rogers said. "They blew us out."

It was a different story yesterday as the unranked Wildcats (6-1) held on to edge No. 17 Westminster (5-2) of Carroll County, 55-53. It marked the fourth straight year they have won their own tournament. Arundel's Cortney Finch and Julie Musitano had 13 and 12 points, respectively, and Westminster's Beth Lister had a game-high 21.

In the consolation game, Stephany Foster scored 15 points to lead Roosevelt (5-2) of Prince George's County to a 41-36 victory over No. 14 Wilde Lake (3-3). Adelle Chenier paced Wilde Lake with 12.

Before the Arundel game, Rogers was talking about what his team needed to do to upset Westminster.

"We have a young team," Rogers said, referring to his seven seniors, five sophomores and one freshman. "I hope we show more intensity in the first half and not wait until the second."

The Wildcats did just that. Midway through the first quarter, Arundel rang up 12 unanswered points, coming from behind to take a 19-10 lead. Musitano had four points during the run.

"We hoped to get out of the gate fast like that," Rogers said. "The time to do it is when everybody is fresh, because when we start to substitute we tend to lose continuity."

Westminster never fully recovered from that harsh early treatment, as coach Bernie Koontz's worst fears were realized. He said before the game the key was "to be ready to play" at the unusual starting time of noon on the tournament host's court.

"Our start was a little slow and we didn't play good team defense," Koontz said. "It came around, though, and helped us stay in the game. The team kept fighting and never quit."

Arundel led by as many as 13, early in the second quarter, but Westminster closed to within six at halftime. The Owls made a game of it in the fourth quarter, pulling within 49-46 with 6:17 remaining.

Lauren Kadlubowski's free throw made it 55-53 with 1:31 left. But Arundel clinched it when Chavonne Hammond stole the ball in the final seconds to snuff out Westminster's last threat.

"We try to play team defense, but that was the most points we've given up this season," Rogers said.

Rogers is mildly perturbed that Arundel was dropped out of the Top 20 after its only loss a few weeks ago to Broadneck. He makes a point to bring in quality teams for the tournament with the hope that recognition will come with beating them. In last year's final, Arundel knocked off St. Francis, which was in the Top 5 at the time.

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