Arundel edges No. 5 Old Mill

January 28, 1995|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

This was the game No. 10 Arundel had been waiting for all season -- the one that would silence the skeptics and remove the doubters.

Overcoming two 10-point deficits and 36 turnovers, the Wildcats edged No. 5 Old Mill, 47-45, in overtime to remain unbeaten.

Juniors Chavonne Hammond and Jen Mottar each scored 15 points and combined for 35 rebounds, as Arundel (14-0) moved into a first-place tie with No. 6 Severna Park in the Anne Arundel County 4A League at 7-0. Old Mill is 7-1 in the league and 11-3 overall, its other losses coming last month against Hammond and St. Mary's.

"We've been working for respect," said Hammond, a 5-foot-11 forward who had 19 rebounds, seven blocks and six steals. "Everybody was saying that all the teams we had played were weak, so we had to earn their respect by beating one of the top teams in the county."

NTC Old Mill's Kerri Eland, who sat out most of the fourth quarter because of foul trouble, buried a three-pointer with 24 seconds left in regulation to tie the score, 40-40. Arundel missed four shots on its next possession, the last a leaning jumper by freshman Sherice Proctor that bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Shannon Noon (nine points) scored from the outside to begin the overtime, but Eland (12 points) hit another shot from beyond the arc for the Patriots' final lead, 43-42.

Hammond converted a three-point play and sank a jumper to move Arundel ahead, 47-43. She then blocked a shot by Eland, but senior Mary Chicorelli came up with her seventh steal and Tiffany Slade scored to pull Old Mill within two.

Hammond missed the front end of a one-and-one with 43 seconds remaining, and Old Mill had two chances to send the game into a second overtime. Tinnell Slade's shot was blocked by Lachelle McHenry, but she made a steal past midcourt and called a timeout with 13 seconds left. Eland then missed from the baseline and Hammond grabbed the rebound as time expired.

"I thought people recognized that we had a good ballclub, but I guess this was the big test, to see just how good we were," said Arundel coach Lee Rogers, who has no seniors. "It showed we had a lot of guts. Deep down inside, we wanted it a little bit more than they did. The kids didn't let up."

Arundel withstood a horrible first half, when it shot 7-for-29 from the field and made 16 turnovers.

Old Mill's biggest lead was 23-13 on a steal and jumper by Eland with 2:18 left, but Arundel scored the last six points on two follows by Mottar and a steal and spinning layup by Noon.

"We knew coming in that we could not panic, and for some reason we did," said Old Mill coach Pat Chance. "We were making steals and then throwing the ball away, and I don't know why that was. I thought we had learned from the Hammond and St. Mary's games how to play under pressure, but evidently we didn't. I was very disappointed.

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