Annapolis regroups, tops Arundel, 46-39

February 01, 1994|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

Rather than yell at his players for a lackluster first half that had them behind 19-14, Annapolis coach Dave Griffith took a calm, simple approach.

"I told them to just go out and play ball," he said.

They did better than that.

The 18th-ranked Panthers outscored No. 17 Arundel 16-5 in the third quarter, then held on for a 46-39 victory yesterday, ending the Wildcats' five-game winning streak.

Junior Emily Nugent scored 11 points for Annapolis, which had a six-game winning streak snapped by Severna Park last week. Seniors Shannon Henderson and Janelle Queen each had 10 points, and Henderson grabbed 11 rebounds.

Sophomore Shannon Noon scored 12 points for visiting Arundel, which was coming off a 49-39 upset of then-No. 6 Old Mill, the three-time defending Class 4A state champions, last Friday. Sophomore Jen Mottar added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Annapolis (8-5, 5-3) didn't take the lead until 4:35 remained in the third quarter, when Cristi Samaras made a steal and layup. Queen later drove to the basket and scored with 56 seconds left, moving the Panthers further ahead, 30-24.

Henderson passed inside to Artina Trader for a layup that gave Annapolis a 42-32 lead with 3:02 left in the game, but Arundel ran off the next seven points, including two follows by Mottar.

Mottar fouled Queen with 54 seconds left, and the 5-foot-7 forward made both free throws for a 44-39 lead. Two free throws by Nugent with 14 seconds left iced it.

"We made some adjustments at halftime," Griffith said. "The way they were playing their zone, they were collapsing a little bit, so I brought Shannon up and set her up at the elbow and dropped the wing down, so we were overloading on the side."

Annapolis, which owns two victories over Arundel this year, had to overcome a great deal of adversity yesterday. Two players, including Samaras, were battling the flu, and Queen's grandmother died Sunday night. "Janelle called me and said she wanted to play, and I think she played her heart out," Griffith said. "At the beginning of the game, she was kind of out of it, but I stuck with her and gave her the chance, and she played great under the circumstances."

Before the season, Wildcats coach Lee Rogers bemoaned the loss of four starters, including Alina Smith, the school's all-time leading scorer. The team's goal, he said, was to finish at .500, "and anything above that is going to be a plus for us." With an 11-3 record (5-2 in the 4A League), the season already has been one huge plus, but yesterday's game showed what can happen to a young team when pressured, especially on the road.

"We played flat and we had no inspiration," said Rogers, who started three sophomores. "Maybe they didn't have anything left after that big high Friday, but we made mistakes that we don't normally make, and Annapolis is a good club."

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