Duo keeps Arundel on roll 50-3 in 2-year run: Seniors Jen Mottar and Shannon Noon are hoping to cap their outstanding string of success with a Class 4A girls title.

March 07, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

A spectacular two-year run on the basketball floor is about to end for Jen Mottar and Shannon Noon and they hope to take the state Class 4A girls championship with them when they walk off the court for the final time this weekend at UMBC.

The two Arundel senior starters have played major roles in the team's two-year march to a 50-3 record entering today's 3 p.m. 4A semifinal matchup with Largo at UMBC.

Mottar has consistently been the Wildcats' second most productive player for two seasons behind high school All-America Chavonne Hammond, and Noon is the runaway winner of the team's unsung hero award.

They both are fundamentally sound players and often talk like coaches, stressing defense and getting the ball to whomever has the open shot.

For instance, when Noon was asked if one of her jobs was getting the ball to Hammond, she said without hesitation: "We don't play like that. We don't try to get the ball to Chavonne. If we're open, we shoot."

That is why seven players on top-ranked Arundel (25-2) are averaging more than five points a game and the gifted Hammond isn't exactly overwhelming people offensively with a team-leading 16.4 points a game.

But the game plan has worked to perfection for coach Lee Rogers, whose team is favored to win it all this year at the 4A level after finishing second to Western last season.

"I always hoped I would be part of a super team like this," said Noon, a 5-foot-6 guard who is averaging 5.2 points, 3.3 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 steals. "I like to pass the ball and force turnovers out of our pressure defense. Our defense has carried us a long way. I'm not a good scorer and I don't mind playing in the shadow of Chavonne."

Mottar, a 5-9 forward, is at her best when she goes in the lane and posts up for turnaround jumpers.

Very few opposing high school players have been able to stop Mottar in the lane and she averages 10.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals a game. She has also blocked 20 shots this season.

Mottar began developing her inside moves at the recreation basketball level, where "I was real tall and just shot over people. Also, we practice inside moves every day in practice."

There is no doubt that Mottar's stats this season would be more impressive if she had not dislocated the index finger on her left hand in the first game.

Mottar would miss the next three games, including a loss to Seton Keough, and was hampered by the injury for at least five games after she returned.

"It was really sore for a long time," said Mottar. "And it was tough to get mentally back into playing the same way I did. I had to get over worrying about my left hand, which is used almost as much as my right hand."

Now Mottar and her teammates are preparing for a 23-2 Largo team that rolled through the 4A South Regionals. Largo outscored four opponents -- Parkdale, Suitland, Northwestern and Roosevelt -- by a 266-132 margin.

The Lions completed the run with a 67-49 victory over Roosevelt last Saturday.

Largo has no seniors on its team, prompting Rogers to comment: "They remind me of us last year when we had all underclassmen. They have good size, good depth and their kids go to the basket."

The size doesn't bother Rogers as much as a fear of getting behind early.

"We handled Elizabeth Seton's height OK," said Rogers. "We just can't be out of the game. They run, they press and they trap. Everybody thinks we're going to win hands down, but our kids are ready for a tough game."

Three Largo players, 5-7 junior guard Felicia Harris, 5-9 junior forward Kim Wright and 6-foot sophomore center Kyva Jones, concern Rogers.

"We have to know where Harris is, Wright is tough and Jones is a wide body," said Rogers.

Harris leads Largo with 15 points a game, Wright averages 6.0 points and 6.7 rebounds a game and Jones averages 7.0 points and 7.4 rebounds.

Kia Williams, a 5-10 junior, is also an important starter for the Lions, averaging 14 points and 6.4 rebounds.

Pub Date: 3/07/96

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