Arundel coach Lee Rogers said a 90-minute bus ride caused him team to sleepwalk through much of the first quarter at Westminster. But when the Wildcats awoke, the game turned into a nightmare for the host Owls.
Sherice Proctor nearly outscored the entire Westminster team, finishing with 32 points, and No. 4-ranked Arundel forced 33 turnovers with its pressure and traps en route to a 74-34 victory over the Owls in a Class 4A East Region semifinal last night.
Arundel (22-3), which plays Meade tomorrow night in the region final, struggled through much of the first quarter. The Wildcats missed 14 of their first 15 shots and scored only five points in the first seven minutes.
"It just took us a little while to wake up," said Rogers. "I think we were mentally ready to play, and once we got going, it snow-balled."
But Proctor helped the team come to life with back-to-back layups in the final 35 seconds of the first quarter for an 11-6 lead after one. Kallie Smith (10 points) helped Westminster (7-17) cut the lead to 18-14 with 3: 19 left in the half, but Proctor soon sparked a 17-point run that broke the game open.
She had six points, two assists and two steals during the run that gave the Wildcats a 39-16 lead with 6: 28 left in the third quarter.
After missing 15 of 19 overall in the first quarter, the Wildcats made some changes. They made nine for 16 from the field in the second quarter and then sank 11 straight shots early in the third period to take a 57-26 lead.
"We were kind of tired," said Proctor.
The defense also helped pick it up. Arundel kept full-court nTC pressure on the entire game but switched to a trapping defense late in the first quarter. The Wildcats had forced nine turnovers in the first quarter but soon began picking off passes and getting easy baskets.
Arundel did a good job of forcing Westminster to throw risky passes, ones it often picked off or knocking away. The Wildcats also constantly double-teamed the ball-handler, which flustered the Owls.
Westminster coach Sue Conklin liked how hard her team played, but admitted that Arundel's athleticism wore down the Owls.
"We did what we wanted to do in the first couple of quarters," said Conklin. "But we had a lapse late in the first half. They're very athletic, and they took [advantage]."
Pub Date: 3/05/98