Annapolis tops Arundel, advances to region final

March 04, 1994|By John Harris III | John Harris III,Contributing Writer

Juan Johnson's passing, Rodney Watts' rebounding and Ronnie Johnson's scoring enabled No. 3 Annapolis to turn back No. 19 Arundel, 89-77, last night in a Class 4A, East Region semifinal.

The win gave the top-seeded Panthers (21-2) the right to play host to the region final against No. 10 Glen Burnie tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Juan Johnson did a little bit of everything for the winners, coming off the bench to register 12 points, a game-high eight assists and four rebounds.

Watts, a burly 6-foot-5 center, hauled in a game-high 18 rebounds and added 15 points.

Ronnie Johnson had a team-best 23 points to go with six rebounds.

Kelsey Watkins (14 points, four rebounds), and Lewis Day (11 points) also reached double figures for the victors.

"Juan did a great job of picking the team up. We were lacking enthusiasm for a while, but he came in the game and charged us up," said Panthers coach John Brady.

Annapolis used a 17-7 spurt to open the third period, giving it its largest lead of the night with four minutes remaining.

The fourth-seeded Wildcats (16-8) went on a 12-2 tear led by Bakari Ward (25 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals) to close the deficit to 67-60 with 50 seconds to go in the period.

Following John Golombeck's steal, the Wildcats had a chance to cut the lead, but the reserve shooting guard was whistled for a backcourt violation. Annapolis promptly scored five straight points in 15 seconds to end the period.

"That backcourt call really took our momentum," said Arundel coach Gerald Moore, whose team finished with its best record in nearly 20years. "We had a chance to get within four or five, then all of sudden were down by 12. But, hey, we got beat fair and square by a good team."

Both squads began the second period with five consecutive three-pointers between them during the first minute.

Golombeck (11 points) hit the first and third three-pointers for the Wildcats, and Daryl Cooper (eight points) hit the second. Day fired in two in between.

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