Annapolis rallies past Arundel

January 05, 1994|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Staff Writer

Down by 16 points just seconds into the final period, Annapolis staged one of its greatest comebacks in 17 years under coach John Brady to outlast Arundel, 84-80, last night.

"Annapolis played brave at the end, and played better than I've seen them play in quite awhile," said Arundel coach Gerald Moore.

It was a case of Annapolis' depth and quickness wearing down a Arundel team that used basically six players. "Yeah, they simply wore us down," said Moore.

The No. 10 Panthers (7-1) outscored the No. 14 Wildcats 30-12 in the last period.

The game was nip and tuck until the third period when Arundel (5-3) turned a 38-37 halftime lead into a 68-54 by the end of the period. Bakari Ward's basket seconds into the final period lifted the lead to 16 points (70-54) before Annapolis went on a 21-6 run.

An idea by guard Juan "J. J." Johnson propelled the furious comeback as the Panthers cut the lead to 78-75 with about 1:30 to go.

"It was J. J.'s idea to use both of them at once," said Brady when asked if putting his two point guards, Johnson and Teshawn Cooper, in at the same time got them going. "I thought it was a pretty good idea and said OK."

Johnson scored seven of his team-high 20 points in the final period and had three assists and two steals in the last seven minutes. Cooper (six points) didn't score during the rally, but had a couple steals and his superb ball handling and defense contributed to the victory.

Ronnie Johnson's lay-up with just under two minutes to go pulled the Panthers within three at 78-75 and an Arundel turnover gave the winners the ball right back.

After a timeout with 1:15 left, the Panthers cleared Lewis Day (five points), who carried out the designed play by hitting a three-pointer to tie the game at 78.

Rico Lee (six points) stole the ball on the inbounds pass and fed to Kelsey Watkins (nine points), who missed a short jumper, but Rodney "Shaq" Watts (12 points, game-high 18 rebounds) tipped it back in for an 80-78 lead.

Sean Soyars, who had a game-high 28 points plus a team-high 12 boards for the Wildcats, missed what would have been his fifth three-pointer from the top of the key.

Watkins grabbed the rebound and was tackled by Jeff Hedrick (18 points, five rebounds, two steals and six assists). Watkins hit four straight free throws in two one-and-one situations in the last 18 seconds to ice it.

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