Calvert presses No. 9 Arundel to 71-68 loss

February 28, 1996|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

PRINCE FREDERICK -- No. 9 Arundel's bid for a second consecutive Class 4A East championship was snatched away last night by a scrappy Calvert team that coaxed the Wildcats into an up-tempo game.

The home-standing Cavaliers of the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference played the Wildcats' half-court game early before taking off in the second half and landing a 71-68 quarterfinal victory.

Calvert will visit Annapolis, a 60-48 winner over Northern of Calvert, in tomorrow night's semifinal matchup.

"We've had trouble with pressure off and on all year and it just caught up with us tonight," said Wildcats coach Gerald Moore.

"They wanted it more than we did. They were in their gym and everything was to their advantage, but if you're going to be a champion, you have to overcome things like that. Last year, we did."

The Wildcats (16-7) took their final lead with just over a minute remaining when Darnarian McCants (21 points) took a pass off a steal from R.J. Farmer, drove the lane and put in a shot to put Arundel ahead, 64-63.

The Cavaliers (15-6) regained the lead on a short jumper and spread it back to three on two foul shots by James Dent. Arundel pulled back to within a point twice in the final minute.

With time running out, the Wildcats sent the Cavaliers to the line, where they missed six in a row, but a foul on the defensive boards and a double-dribble call prohibited Arundel from getting off a three-pointer.

"We played hard down the stretch, we just made too many mental mistakes," said junior guard Erik Lipton, who finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Arundel was plagued by turnovers in the first quarter -- seven, to be exact -- and the miscues enabled the Cavs to open a 16-10 lead, despite missing seven straight three-pointers.

Calvert continued to fire up the threes with little success in the second quarter and Arundel took advantage.

The Wildcats took the lead, 21-19, with 4:52 left in the half on a basket by Jim Todd (11 points) and led by six after a steal at midcourt by McCants and a breakaway layup by Joe Parker.

The Cavaliers took only three shots from inside the arc in the second quarter and trailed at the half, 31-24.

"We were intense, but the crowd and the momentum was behind them and we just started going down," McCants said. "I think we had more talent than them, they just beat us. That's all there is to it."

Arundel, which had only two returnees from last year's region champion squad, had trouble adjusting to the Cavaliers' full-court pressure in the second half but escaped the third quarter down by only one.

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