Apparently Lee Rogers and his No. 10-ranked Arundel Wildcats (7-2) don't intend to follow the script and, because they're so young, simply be the third-best county public school team.
In fact, Rogers and his Wildcats have made it their goal to get to UMBC for the state playoffs this year, possibly a year early.
No. 4 Annapolis (7-2) and No. 8 Meade (7-3) are the more experienced teams with more seniors than Arundel, which has only two, and the Panthers and Wildcats were last year's top two. Meade upset Annapolis to win the county championship, but the latter copped the Class 4A East region to earn the right to go to the final four at UMBC.
"Just like everybody else, we want to go to UMBC," said Rogers after his Wildcats ran past Annapolis, 72-61, Tuesday night to move into a first-place tie (3-1 each) with the Panthers in the South Division. "Hopefully, this win will make them believe they can do this."
After winning the Class 4A state title in 1996 in their second straight trip to the state final and going 52-3 over those two seasons, Arundel slipped to 18-6 last season. The Wildcats dropped a 56-41 decision to Annapolis in the region semis.
With Annapolis returning seven seniors, including 6-foot-2 All-Metro forward Jackie Edwards and 6-1 All-County second-team forward Kammi Cottrell, not to mention 6-3 center/forward Emily Dammeyer, the Panthers were tabbed the favorite, going into this season.
All-County and second team All-Metro guard Angie Creek and second team All-County center, 6-2 Katie Netherton are back for their junior seasons at Meade. And the Mustangs returned three key seniors in third team All-County guard Lindsay Meyer, guard Dena Eldridge and 6-4 center Megan Poehlman.
At Arundel, Rogers welcomed back his outstanding backcourt of All-County senior Sherice Proctor and second-team All-County junior Megan Rollins, and the team's only 6-footer, 6-2 junior Shaunte Edmonds.
The coach hoped to build around them with the only other senior, 5-10 Kelly McDonald, 5-10 junior Lindsey Schiesz, three other juniors, a sophomore and five freshmen.
After Tuesday night's victory, in which the Wildcats neutralized the Annapolis height with quickness and pressure that forced 25 turnovers, Arundel looks to be well ahead of schedule.
"It feels really good because our young people played really hard, and we know that if we can get them to play good, we can go all the way," said Proctor, who had a career-high 31 points to go with eight steals and five boards.
Proctor, a four-year player who has played in the two state finals, loves the leadership role she and Rollins have. Each knows what it takes to get there, and Rogers is counting on them to show the way to UMBC.
It's no longer a two-team race.
Top girls teams
On Sunday, we showed you the top boys basketball teams of the 1990s -- the 100-game winners with a 1 1/2 years left in the decade. Now take a look at the top girls teams as we approach the millennium.
Eight boys teams have 100 wins, counting games this season. The girls have seven but boast a near 200-game winner in St. Mary's, five state titles to one by the boys and more teams with 20-win seasons.
St. Mary's girls had seven 20-win seasons entering this winter, edging the Annapolis boys, who have six. The girls tied the boys for total 20-win seasons with 16.
Southern-Harwood (93-104, 5-5), Archbishop Spalding (92-126, 12-6) and Northeast (90-106, 3-5) will be the next girls teams to reach 100 wins.
Arundel's Sherice Proctor is considering American U., St. Bonaventure and Drexel because she "wants to stay close to home."
Kelly Walter, a three-sport standout at Andover and overall female winner on the 1984 All-County Academic-Athletic Team, is an assistant coach for the Arundel JV girls' basketball team. Arundel coach Lee Rogers was Walter's eighth-grade phys ed teacher at then Lindale (now North County) junior high.
Is there a better looking warm-up suit than those the Annapolis girls wear? The ones with a white, pin striped shirt (name on the back in maroon), topping maroon pants with wide-white stripes down the sides.
The Broadneck pep band that used to rock the old gym sounds better than ever in the Bruins' new gym.
And after seeing the new Broadneck gym, a Southern-Harwood student/manager said: "It ought to be the University of &r Broadneck. That's a field house in there."
South River's girls basketball team is 8-2 under second-year coach Dirk Rinehart after a 39-38 victory at No. 18 Southern-Harwood (5-5) Tuesday and is on the way to the Seahawks' first winning season since 1987-88 (17-7 under Jim Morton).
Have a note for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline, 410-647-2499.
Pub Date: 1/15/98