No. 13 Arundel rips No. 17 Old Mill, 76-40, takes 4A lead alone

January 28, 1995|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

The No. 13 Arundel Wildcats had something to prove last night and they wanted to send a message. Mission accomplished.

The Wildcats ran to a 76-40 romp over No. 17 Old Mill to break the three-way tie in the Anne Arundel County 4A League last night.

"We wanted to send a message coming off that big loss to Annapolis [last week], wanted to prove we are still the team to beat," said point guard Kevin Higgins.

Arundel (11-3) is 6-1 in league action, a half-game behind 7-1 Annapolis, with Old Mill (9-5) slipping to 5-2. Annapolis played 2A Southern in a nonleague game.

Bakari Ward (four assists, five rebounds, five steals) scored 31 points, Higgins (eight assists, six rebounds, six steals) had 16 and Marquise Farmer tossed in 15 while grabbing seven boards and snuffing three shots as the Wildcats ran the Patriots ragged.

The plan of Arundel coach Gerald Moore to run, run on the Pats worked to perfection.

"We know they [Old Mill] like to play control, slow game and it was our plan to run on them, get ahead quick and get them out of sync," said Moore. "I think we accomplished that.

"And I told Marquise that I wanted him to start grunting out there and taking care of the dirty work for us. That little grunt is something new and he got in the groove."

In the first half, with Old Mill hitting only two of 23 shots from the field, a two and a three from Joe Barnes (seven of his team-high 11 points in the first period), Farmer kept pulling in rebounds and blocking shots while letting out boisterous grunts that had the fans howling.

By the second period, with their team scoring only four points and trailing by 30-12 at the half, Patriots fans started imitating Farmer's grunts.

Old Mill hit its first four shots of the second half, with DeMar Thompson sinking two field goals to pull within 35-20. Ward hit his second of four three-pointers and Farmer had a putback in a 14-8 run to push the Arundel lead to 49-28 at the end of three.

It was obvious in the early moments of the final period that Arundel would maintain its big lead.

Old Mill head coach Paul Bunting and his assistant, Jim Griffiths, were searching for answers afterward.

"We were flat, lethargic, mentally not there in a big game we should have been hungry for," he said.

Old Mill came into the game averaging 60 points and according to Griffiths "played terrible, was our worst game of the year."

In contrast, Moore felt his team might have played its best game of the season.

"It's the first time, we played four full quarters," said Moore.

"Lately, we had been having too many lapses and been out of since. We were together tonight, man. We have a lot to prove. Winning a championship is not easy and that's our goal."

Arundel's transition game looked like that of a champion especially in the first half when Old Mill barely could keep up as the Wildcats ran full court.

Ward, Higgins and Farmer combined for 24 of Arundel's 30 first-half points as the Wildcats took charge early.

Ward fired in two threes and had eight more points in the third period to build the 21-point lead.

Bunting cleared his bench early in the final period, and the Wildcats poured it on with Ward scoring his final 13 points.

"We played everybody, but we put our starters back in to get our chemistry back. We've got a tough road ahead," said Moore.

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