Arundel makes it a sweep over stubborn Annapolis Wildcats' 74-46 decision is third of this season

February 29, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

The playful sign in the stands last night at Arundel High served as a perfect backdrop for another Arundel-Annapolis girls basketball confrontation.

It read: "Thanks Annapolis for showing up" and summed up the intense emotions between the top-ranked Wildcats and seventh-ranked Panthers entering their Class 4A East Region semifinal game that Arundel won going away, 74-46.

Annapolis coach Dave Griffith had said earlier that his players would like to show up for the Arundel game "if it's OK with Arundel, the press and everybody else."

Griffith believed most people had been conceding the 4A East Region title to Arundel and he said his players wanted a chance to prove them wrong.

Instead, Arundel showed why it is a heavy favorite to win the East and possibly march all the way to the state 4A championship after finishing second last season to Western.

The Wildcats (24-2) simply had too much quickness, talent, depth, poise and confidence for a young Annapolis team (19-6) and dominated all but the third quarter of the game. The result was a 28-point victory to go along with 83-25 and 68-48 Arundel wins in the regular season.

Arundel will meet Meade tomorrow night at 7 at Meade in the 4A East championship game.

The third Arundel rout of the season left Wildcats senior standout Chavonne Hammond wondering out loud what her team has to do to defuse the Annapolis feelings toward Arundel.

"It seems like they still haven't given us the respect we deserve," said Hammond. "But the little comments from them that we keep reading in the papers only serve to motivate us."

Hammond was certainly motivated last night, playing one of her best offensive games of the season on the way to 24 points, 15 rebounds, five steals, two blocks and one assist.

Hammond, a 6-foot post player who has received a full scholarship to Vanderbilt, scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on the victory.

Hammond took the Panthers to school in the lane, posting up for an assortment of jumpers to help Arundel build a 69-38 lead with a little more than two minutes left in the game.

That was the signal for Arundel coach Lee Rogers to empty his bench in the final two minutes and prompt Griffith to start looking ahead to next year.

"When you think how young we are [only one senior plays much] and the way we stayed with a team as strong as Arundel at times, you have to be optimistic about next season," said Griffith.

"We had three players in foul trouble most of the game [Jackie Edwards, Kam Cottrell and Stephy Samaras all fouled out] but we hung pretty tough until the fourth quarter."

Cottrell led Annapolis with 15 and Dina Brown added 10 for the losers.

Arundel also received outstanding efforts last night from Sherice Proctor, Jen Mottar and Lachelle McHenry, who combined for 35 points, 14 rebounds, 10 steals and eight assists.

Rogers said he didn't want to "fire back" at any Annapolis comments made lately about his team.

"They keep fueling this thing," he said. "Our goal is to win the state championship, not the county title. That is why we keep talking about the states."

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