Higgins lifts Arundel over No. 9 Annapolis BOYS BASKETBALL

January 04, 1995|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

Kevin Higgins' left-handed layup with eight seconds remaining lifted No. 15 Arundel over No. 9 Annapolis, 66-64, last night.

The Wildcat victory, which left both teams at 6-2 overall, was the first at Annapolis for Arundel since the late '70s.

Arundel had not beaten Annapolis since 1978 until two years ago at Arundel, and the Cats had lost four in a row to the Panthers since.

John Downs' short jumper had tied it for Annapolis at 64 with 25 seconds remaining to set up Higgins' game-winning shot. With one timeout left, Annapolis coach John Brady let the Panthers charge down the other end and Teshawn Cooper (12 points) was fouled with one second left on a loose ball.

Bakari Ward (17 points, five boards, three blocks and three steals) blocked a three-point attempt just before Cooper was fouled.

As Cooper got ready on the line, Arundel coach Gerald Moore called a timeout "to make him think about it and we got a break."

Cooper missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Marquise Farmer, who led the Wildcats with 17 points and 11 rebounds, got the rebound.

"Cooper was fantastic, and we can't blame the loss on him missing the free throw," said Brady, who benched Ronnie Johnson, his leading scorer, for two unexcused absences at practice last week.

Moore said, "We showed a lot of guts at the end and wanted it a little more than they did. We really fought back those last three minutes and that's the mark of a team with the potential to do things."

After leading most of the way (17-10 end of the first period, 33-30 at half and 49-44 to start the final period), the Wildcats fell victim to the Annapolis pressure.

Ryan Dacey (nine points) hit a three-pointer and three free throws in a 13-4 run that gave the Panthers a 57-53 lead with 3:45 to go.

The back-end of two free throws by Higgins (10 points, four boards) and Andy Vermillion's left-handed jumper cut it to 57-56 with 2:40 remaining. Vermillion, who came off the bench, put back a missed foul shot by Farmer with 2:13 left to give Arundel a 60-57 lead.

Farmer drove the lane on Len Barber (seven points, eight rebounds, one block, two steals) to put Arundel up by 58-57 and was fouled.

Arundel outrebounded the home team, 41-28, and after Vermillion's follow, Brady ordered a timeout. Germaine Diggs (20 points, nine boards) answered with a jumper to make it 60-59 with 1:52 showing.

Down the other end, three straight misfires resulted in Farmer grabbing the rebound and going over Barber for a 62-59 Arundel advantage.

Niya Washington hit a three to tie it at 62 with 1:02 left. Ward followed with two from the line as Arundel regained the lead, 64-62, with 52 seconds left.

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