Annapolis ends reign of flat Arundel, 56-41 After teary start, Miller sparks Panthers to victory

Class 4A/Girls basketball

March 07, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Junior point guard Kerry Miller played the basketball game of her life last night when her No. 9-ranked Annapolis teammates needed her the most.

Miller remained calm when almost everything else around her was falling apart for the Panthers against the defending state Class 4A champion Arundel Wildcats at Annapolis.

The 5-foot-6 Miller rescued the Panthers by scoring 11 points, getting six rebounds and handing out three assists in a 56-41 victory over Arundel in the Class 4A East Region semifinals.

Annapolis (22-4), now one win away from a trip to the Class 4A state tournament, meet Northern-Calvert at 7: 30 p.m. tomorrow at Annapolis for the Class 4A East championship. Northern-Calvert defeated Meade last night in the other East semi-final.

The Annapolis victory not only ended Arundel's reign as state champion, it gave the Panthers two victories over the Wildcats in less than four weeks after Arundel had gone more than two years without losing a game to Anne Arundel County opposition.

Arundel had won 49 straight in the county before losing to Annapolis, 53-40, on Feb. 7 at Annapolis and falling two days later to Southern-Harwood. The 11th-ranked Wildcats finished the season 17-6, giving them a 64-9 record over the last three seasons.

Even though every Arundel player except senior forward Lachelle McHenry will be back next season, last night's loss was bitter. The Wildcats didn't score a field goal in the fourth quarter until Megan Rollins drove for a layup with three seconds left.

"We had no fire and no desire," said Arundel coach Lee Rogers. "I don't know where it went."

Arundel hit only one of 10 field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter after trailing by just one point, 37-36, at the end of the third quarter. On the evening, the Wildcats hit just 18 of 56 shots from the field against the rugged defense Annapolis threw at them.

Arundel even scored the first 10 points of the second half to take a 30-25 lead, but the Wildcats faded quickly and were outscored, 31-10, the rest of the game.

But it was Miller's clutch performance that told most of the story last night.

Miller, a transfer from North County this season, wasn't even a starter until late in the year, and she collected two quick fouls in the first quarter last night.

The fouls drew the ire of Griffith, who let her know about it when she came to the bench late in the first quarter.

Miller shed a few tears at the time, but came right back on the court in the second quarter and began to make one big play after another.

Jackie Edwards finished with 15 points, 17 rebounds and two assists, and Kammi Cottrell contributed 13 points and 15 rebounds for Annapolis. Kristen Kapusta added nine points, eight rebounds and three assists for the winners.

Pub Date: 3/07/97

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