Annapolis uses two spurts to oust Northern of Calvert 63-53 triumph advances Panthers against Arundel

February 27, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

The long December and January nightmarish evenings that were filled with frustrating turnovers seemed far behind Annapolis last night during two splendid runs against a pesky Northern of Calvert team.

The Panthers could do very little wrong on a 16-6 spurt at the beginning of the game and looked even better while outscoring the Patriots, 19-3, in an impressive second-half, seven-minute show.

The two streaks were more than enough to send Northern down to a 63-53 defeat in the Class 4A East region girls basketball quarterfinals at Annapolis.

The victory sets the stage for a 4A East region semifinal showdown tomorrow night between top-ranked Arundel and seventh-ranked Annapolis at Arundel, a game the Panthers have been longing for ever since two decisive regular-season losses to the Wildcats.

"If Arundel and the press and everybody else doesn't mind, my girls and I would like to show up and play Arundel," said Annapolis coach Dave Griffith with sarcasm . "My kids said to me they wanted to play the game 'If people don't mind.' "

Griffith said he and his players were referring to remarks from all corners all season that have Arundel already playing for the state 4A championship.

Of course, an 83-25 Arundel rout of Annapolis last month might have something to do with the confidence coming out of Arundel.

However, Annapolis (19-5) is an improved team from the one that played in December and January and turned the ball over as many as 35 times in a loss to St. Mary's.

The 19-3 run last night wiped out a 38-35 Northern third-quarter lead and shoved the Panthers ahead, 54-41, with 3:39 left in the game.

During that spurt and the first one, all five Annapolis players ran the court and filled the lanes for layups.

Stephy Samaras and Dina Brown especially worked well together on the break, with Brown getting the ball to Samaras at the right time for easy layups.

Samaras scored six straight points at the start of the fourth quarter and finished with 16 to follow sophomore Jackie Edwards in the Annapolis scoring column.

Edwards had a game-high 19 points and led the winners with 11 rebounds. Samaras also had six assists and three steals.

"It was a silent, very silent 19 points," said Edwards, who scored mostly inside on follow shots. "I just wasn't playing well in the first half and Coach [Griffith] wasn't too happy. But after he gave us a talking to at halftime, things got better."

Kristen Kapusta had another one of her outstanding three-point shooting nights, hitting three in the first quarter to give her 47 for the season and the single-season girls record at Annapolis.

Kapusta had 11 points, four assists and four steals.

Kapusta's shooting helped build a 21-10 lead in the first quarter but Northern (18-4) battled back to trail by only one, 25-24, at halftime.

The Patriots, who were led by Jen Mitchell and Chanel Spriggs, came back again in the final minutes of the game to cut the Annapolis lead to 56-51 with 1:12 left.

But Edwards and Kam Cottrell hit some big baskets inside to hold off Northern. Mitchell and Spriggs combined for 26 points for the losers who entered the game as Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champs (10-0).

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