South River pulls away to 85-71 win

January 15, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

South River guard Corey Davis couldn't join his teammates for hamburgers at a nearby fast-food restaurant after yesterday's game against Arundel.

He had something more important to do -- closing the gash in the middle finger of his left hand.

Davis was taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center to receive stitches in the finger, which had forced him to the bench three times while a trainer worked to stop the bleeding. But when he was on the court, the Wildcats were hurting.

Davis and junior Russell Tongue each scored 25 points and combined for nine steals to guide No. 20 South River past No. 16 Arundel, 85-71, in Edgewater.

Andrew Meyers (15 points) and Andrew Moore (10) also scored in double figures for the Seahawks (8-1), who have won four straight. Their only loss came against Severn in the St. Mary's Christmas Tournament.

Sean Soyars, a 6-foot-5 senior center, led Arundel (7-4) with 24 points, and juniors Bakari Ward and Kevin Higgins each added 13.

Davis was injured while driving to the basket with 3:22 left in the first half and South River ahead, 32-23. While he was out of the game, Arundel got within 36-33 before Moore scored off the glass at the buzzer.

"Someone slapped my arm and it hit him in the mouth and my finger split open," said Davis, who had to be removed again with 3:08 left in the third quarter, leading to another Wildcats rally.

"I basically told the trainer [Debbie Noonan] to fix me up any way you can so I can get back in and try to help my team. They were already pulling through without me, and I just wanted to get back in and give them an extra boost."

With Davis out, Arundel took a 64-58 lead into the fourth quarter, only to be outscored 27-7 in the final eight minutes. A free throw by Paul Madden had moved the Wildcats in front 71-70 with three minutes left, but South River ran off the last 15 points, including seven from Davis, who had returned with 2:35 left.

His follow of Tongue's miss put the Seahawks ahead 72-71, and he made a three-point shot that bounced high off the rim and fell through, extending the lead to 75-71.

Brian Ulrich made two free throws with 57 seconds left, and Davis came up with a steal and layup for a 79-71 lead. Tongue scored the last four points, and South River had one of its biggest wins of the season.

"The cut looked like a V-cut," said coach Kenny Dunn. "Debbie did a great job of keeping him [Davis] in the game. She was one of the keys tonight. Once he got back out on the floor, he took care of things."

There were eight lead changes in the first half, and both teams shot 50 percent from the field. The Seahawks took an 18-17 lead to start the second quarter, and they went up 34-23 on a follow by Tongue.

Ward then sparked an Arundel rally in the last three minutes with four points, two steals, two rebounds and two assists. His steal and layup cut South River's lead to 36-33 with 54 seconds left in the half.

Soyars hit a three-pointer to give Arundel a 57-56 lead with less than two minutes left in the third quarter, and he scored again off a behind-the-back pass from Higgins. But little else went right for the Wildcats, who gave up too many easy baskets.

"We lost our poise," said Arundel coach Gerald Moore. "We didn't play good team defense down the stretch, and we pride ourselves on playing team, sagging, support defense and we did not do that. They got a lot of open shots."

South River used only seven players -- five juniors and two seniors -- but clearly was the stronger team at the end.

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