Arundel holds off Sherwood for first title Hammond gets 14 boards to spark 57-49 victory

Girls basketball

March 10, 1996|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

With hundreds of screaming fans providing a perfect backdrop at UMBC yesterday, irrepressible Chavonne Hammond and Arundel High did what no other girls basketball team has done in the history of the school.

They won a state championship, holding off Sherwood High in the final minutes for a 57-49 victory in the Class 4A title game.

Hammond had her second outstanding effort in the state final four, scoring 15 points, grabbing 14 rebounds, blocking eight shots and handing out three assists.

She scored eight straight points in the final seconds of the third quarter and early minutes of the fourth quarter to ignite a 13-0 Arundel charge that wiped out a 35-32 Sherwood lead and gave the Wildcats a 45-35 advantage with 5: 18 left.

The 6-foot senior, who has a full scholarship to Vanderbilt, wound up with 40 points, 36 rebounds, 20 blocks, nine assists and six steals while ushering Arundel past Largo and Sherwood to the state title.

It was also only the second boys or girls state basketball championship ever for the Gambrills school. The Arundel boys won the Wildcats' other title in 1964.

No wonder they were dancing in the aisles at UMBC, celebrating every free throw that Kara Kitchen and Sherice Proctor made over the final 1: 50.

Kitchen had four free throws and Proctor had three down the stretch to account for seven of the final eight Arundel points and give Arundel the state title it has been coveting since losing to Western in the 4A final last year. Top-ranked Arundel (27-2) returned every starter from last year's 25-1 team.

"This championship means a lot," said Wildcats coach Lee Rogers. "It seems like there were a lot of people second-guessing me all season, but I stuck to what I wanted to do and it worked. These girls refused to lose and we did it the way we wanted."

Rogers was especially proud of the fact that he was able to get all five of the seniors on the team on the court together in the final minute of the game. "We wanted them to go out together like that," said Rogers of Hammond, Kitchen, Jen Mottar, Shannon Noon and Marcia Lavin.

For Kitchen, it was a happy way to end her basketball career at Arundel in light of the fact that she had lost her starting guard spot this year to Proctor, a talented sophomore.

Kitchen scored 10 points, second only to Hammond, and found herself on the floor most of the game because of her ability to shoot over a zone defense.

"My strength is shooting from the outside," said Kitchen. "And we needed that today when Sherwood used a 3-2 zone instead of a man. I understood why I didn't start this season. Sherice is quicker and a better defensive player than I was."

Sherwood was collapsing two and three players on Hammond and Mottar every time they touched the ball inside yesterday, leaving Kitchen and Noon open outside. Mottar still managed to score eight points and get eight rebounds.

She collected her fourth foul with 55 seconds left in the third

quarter and sat out for five minutes and 35 seconds before returning. The strong inside player also wore a big scratch on her face after the game and said: "It was pretty rough in there."

"I wanted to come back in sooner and play," said Mottar. "But I'm OK now. I'm happy we won. I'm relieved that we finally won the championship. I was all stressed out over the way the game was going."

Pub Date: 3/10/96

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