Arundel harasses way past Frederick

Down 10 early, Wildcats win by 15

Marano hits 21

Girls 4A state semifinals

High Schools

March 10, 2000|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Aside from the first two minutes of yesterday afternoon's Class 4A state semifinal, it was typical Arundel Wildcats girls basketball.

For their opponent, West-region champion Frederick, that meant 30 minutes of harassment.

The No. 6-ranked Wildcats overcame an early 10-point deficit, relying on their relentless pressure defense that eventually wore down the overwhelmed Cadets, to come away with a 73-58 win and return to the state championship game.

The Wildcats made the final for the fourth time in six seasons, years and will take on Prince George's County's Oxon Hill, the winner in yesterday's other semifinal, for the title at UMBC at 3 p.m. tomorrow. Arundel won its only title in 1996.

Yesterday, 10 buses of fans were loaded in Gambrills for the trip to Catonsville to support the Wildcats, producing a student body section that would have made any college proud.

They went home happy.

Junior guard Jill Marano, out with an ankle injury when the Wildcats needed overtime to defeat Frederick in a holiday tournament, scored 21 points yesterday, adding nine assists and five steals. Her presence was definitely felt.

Others followed her lead as the Wildcats (24-2) showed poise in erasing a 10-0 deficit and winning going away.

A 12-0 run that started at the end of the third quarter and continued into the fourth gave the Wildcats a 50-38 lead and put the game out of reach for Frederick.

"We try to come out ready to play. I don't know -- maybe it's nerves. But we always keep our composure and usually pull through," said Marano. "Once we get our fast-paced game going, [and] that's what we like to play, it's hard to stop."

Arundel, rotating its guards, forced 25 Frederick turnovers and left the Cadets (18-8) plenty tired in the second half.

"Their pressure was very effective, particularly down the stretch," said Frederick coach Todd Bono, whose Cadets were making their second straight state tournament appearance. "Their guards are quick, really fast. And that took its toll on us, especially on our shooting at the end. By the fourth quarter, our legs were tired."

Junior forward Tracy Pucci scored 18 points for Arundel, 12 in the first half. Fellow junior forward Najmah Fauntleroy helped close it out with eight of her 14 points in the fourth quarter, along with 17 rebounds.

Trailing early didn't faze the Wildcats, who had to come from behind to beat Severna Park for the East-region title last week.

"We kept up our intensity and know when we're down, no one is going to give up. This is unbelievable," said Pucci.

His team down 10-0 two minutes in, Arundel coach Lee Rogers, who likes to give his players the responsibility for calling timeout, was one Frederick basket away from calling time himself.

But Pucci scored inside at the 5: 57 mark, and less than three minutes later, the Wildcats took their first lead, 13-12.

"We've been there before, and it's just a matter of time," said Rogers. "The defense turned it around for us. We're very poised for a young team."

Freshman guard Jessica Collins came off the bench to score 10 points in the win.

FREDERICK -- Brennan 25, Jobe 10, Andrews 6, Hood 6, Brown 5, Bryan 4, Perterson 2. Totals 23 8-15 58.

ARUNDEL -- Marano 21, Pucci 18, Fauntleroy 14, Washington 4, Gonzales 3, Collins 10, Sutton 3. Totals 24 22-34 73. Half: A 32-31.

Oxon Hill 49, Western 46: Oxon Hill grabbed only two more rebounds than No. 7 Western in last night's state Class 4A semifinal, but those two missed opportunities kept the Doves from advancing to tomorrow's state final.

Trailing by two points in the final 38 seconds, Western sent the Clippers to the free-throw line three times. Twice, the Doves failed to box out and on the other, 5-foot-11 Tyecia Powell and the Clippers' 6-2 center Rebekkah Brunson both grabbed the ball but possession went to Oxon Hill.

OXON HILL -- Brunson 21, Oliver 12, Lopez 1, Williams 5, Brooks 2, Ford 4, Pain 2, Jones 2. Totals: 18 10-24 49.

WESTERN -- Drumgold 17, Tolbert 15, Gorham 1, Powell 6, Brown 2, Hughes 2, Young 3. Totals: 20 1-3 46. Half: W 28-23

Girls basketball playoffs

State semifinals (At UMBC)

Yesterday's games

Class 4A

Arundel 73, Frederick 58

Oxon Hill 49, Western 46

Class 3A

DuVal 55, Paint Branch 49

Milford Mill vs. Thomas Stone, 9

Today's games

Class 2A

Parkside vs. Linganore, 3

Gwynn Park vs. Dunbar, 5

Class 1A

Pocomoke vs. Allegany, 7

Glenelg vs. Rising Sun, 9

State finals

Tomorrow's games

Class 2A, 1 p.m.

Class 4A

Arundel vs. Oxon Hill, 3 p.m.

Class 1A, 6 p.m.

Class 3A

DuVal vs. Milford Mill/T, Stone, 8 p.m.

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