Annapolis ends Arundel 11-game win run with emotional 53-40 victory Panthers tie for first, push own streak to 11

February 08, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Jubilant Annapolis players kept talking about preparation and hard work last night, moments after they had shut down defending Class 4A state champion Arundel, 53-40, in an emotionally-charged game at Annapolis.

The Panthers also needed exceptional efforts from juniors Jackie Edwards and Kammi Cottrell, as well as clutch-shooting in the fourth quarter by Kia Green to climb "Mount Arundel" and take something of an edge in the Anne Arundel County South Division title race.

It was the 11th straight win for ninth-ranked Annapolis and the first loss for eighth-ranked Arundel after 11 consecutive victories. The loss also was Arundel's first in Anne Arundel County since the 1993-1994 season. The Wildcats were unbeaten in county play in both 1994-1995 and 1995-1996.

Annapolis surged into a first-place tie with Arundel (both 5-1) in the South standings.

Assuming both teams win their remaining county games, Annapolis (now 15-3) would win the division over Arundel (14-4) if both teams finish with the same records, because of the final tiebreaker rule, which is the best overall record.

The winner of the South will be a heavy favorite to take the county championship in a one-game showdown with the North winner -- most likely Meade.

Replacing Arundel as county champion would be quite an accomplishment for the Panthers, because Arundel had dominated the five meetings between the two schools before last night.

"We beat a great Arundel team tonight," said Annapolis coach Dave Griffith. "Our goal all week was to stay focused against their press, and we did it. We went into a bit of a panic against the press for a while, but we quickly settled down. But they will see us again, and we'll see them."

Arundel coach Lee Rogers saw the result differently.

"Our girls would love to win the county championship," he said. "but it's not the end of the world. Our goal is UMBC [where the Class 4A state championship game will be played].

"I really believe the officials hurt us tonight. They allowed Jackie [Edwards] to live in the paint, and I could score, too, if I stayed in the paint that long. The films will prove I'm right."

In addition to Edwards, who, as usual, was unflappable for Annapolis against the Arundel press, junior guard Kerry Miller and Green were splendid for the winners in helping beat the pressure that in past games had forced the Panthers into as many as 32 turnovers. This time, Annapolis held its turnovers to 17.

Edwards carried the Panthers in the second half. Cottrell had been red-hot in the first half -- which ended in a 19-19 tie -- with 15 of the team's points. Cottrell also had 12 rebounds. Edwards, a 6-foot-2 center, scored 14 points in the final 16 minutes to finish with 18 and 14 rebounds.

It was a long night for Arundel, which shot only 12 for 41 from the field. Leading scorer Sherice Proctor got two quick fouls in the first quarter, never recovered, and scored only three points on a 1-for-7 shooting effort from the field.

Pub Date: 2/08/97

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