Annapolis nips Arundel, 78-74

January 21, 1995|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

Getting a second chance in sports is something that doesn't always happen, but Teshawn Cooper and Ronnie Johnson got theirs last night in Gambrills.

Cooper, Johnson and Ryan Dacey combined for 52 points while Lenny Barber pulled down 13 rebounds, 12 on the defensive side, to pace No. 13 Annapolis (10-3) to a 78-74 win over No. 11 Arundel (10-3).

The Annapolis victory left the county 4A league in a three-way tie in the loss column, with 7-1 Annapolis up by a half-game over 6-1 Old Mill and 5-1 Arundel.

In avenging a 66-64 loss to the Wildcats on Jan. 3 in Annapolis, the Panthers nearly blew a 16-point lead in the final period. The game was reminiscent of Arundel's 76-74 victory over Annapolis two years ago.

That night, Annapolis stormed back in the final period, only to come up short.

Last night, Arundel trailed 62-46 with 6:43 left before Bakari Ward's three-pointer ignited a furious comeback that came up short.

"Yeah, it was a lot like that game," said Annapolis coach John Brady. "We were fortunate to win tonight. We made it harder than it had to be, but they kept the pressure on. Arundel has put together a terrific team, a state championship-caliber team."

Cooper, Johnson, Dacey and Barber all made major contributions to overcome 59 points between Ward (17), Kevin Higgins (17), Marquise Farmer (15) and Denarian McCants (10) of the Wildcats.

In the earlier meeting, Cooper was at the line with one second left in a one-and-one situation with a chance to tie the game. He missed the front end.

Last night, it was redemption time for the senior guard as he hit seven of nine from the line in the final period, 13 of 17 for the game.

Cooper (19 points) hit his final four attempts to give his team a 73-67 lead with 53 seconds left.

"We were trying to foul anybody but Johnson or Dacey," said Arundel coach Gerald Moore. "And Cooper was the one who kept getting the ball. It was great to win last time over them, but with Johnson not playing, it took some of the shine off."

Johnson was back last night and made his presence known with 16 points and eight rebounds.

"It really helped having Ronnie in there against them tonight," said Dacey, who hit four three-pointers for the Panthers.

With his team down 32-30 at the half, Dacey came out and hit a trio of threes in the first five minutes of the third period to put Annapolis up, 45-39. The six-point lead was the biggest of the game up to that point.

"It wasn't set up for me to shoot the threes out on the wing, but when they pinched in, they left me out there and I took the shots," said Dacey, who had his other three-pointer in the second period and ended up with 12 of his points in the second half.

Barber was also a major contributor in the second half after getting into early foul trouble. Barber, who missed Tuesday's game (a 73-47 win over Severna Park) because of the flu, had two fouls in the first period and spent most of his first half on the bench.

Farmer, who led Arundel with 12 rebounds, had eight in the first half, four on the offensive side. Barber dominated in the second half with 10 defensive boards taking away second shots that the Wildcats got in the first half.

"I got good position on him [Farmer] and blocked out, and they kept coming to my side," said the 6-foot-8 Barber. "It was a game we wanted bad, a really big game."

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