Arundel pounds Westminster, 77-49

Defending state champs overwhelm young Owls

4A East girls basketball

High School

March 02, 2001|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Late arrival describes the Westminster girls basketball team, literally, while on time is appropo for the Arundel Wildcats.

Westminster was late getting to Gambrills from Carroll County last night for the Class 4A East semifinal against the No. 2 defending region and state champion Wildcats.

Arundel (24-1) patiently waited during the 32-minute delay, caused because transportation was tardy for the No. 20 Owls (16-7), and then dealt the visitors a 77-49 defeat.

The Wildcats appear to be right on schedule for an encore in the states, while the young Owls look to have a bright future and got a hands-on lesson on what it takes from the area's top 4A team.

Arundel's senior trio of Najmah Fauntleroy, Jill Marano and Catherine Gonzalezwere were impressive. Fauntleroy scored a career-high 30 points to go with six boards, three blocked shots and two steals.

Marano tossed in 17, had eight assists and four steals; Gonzalez had 15 points, two steals and three assists.

Arundel hosts Broadneck tomorrow in the region final.

Westminster, which played no seniors last night, faced the precision of a veteran team that was once in the same situation: underclassmen matched up with seniors.

"We were coming off a 4-19 season and three of these juniors played as sophomores and then, the freshmen and sophomores are athletic," said Westminster coach Dick Ebersole.

"The kids played a lot of ball this summer and we decided to put the most athletic kids on the court."

Encouraged about the future?

"I'm excited about these kids. These are the kinds of games that will make us better in the future. I'm overjoyed with this bunch of kids," Ebersole said.

Obviously, Arundel's future is now. Coach Lee Rogers, who is a master at getting his team to peak at nitty gritty time and blending young players with the veterans, watched his Wildcats roll to a 40-21 halftime lead that became 60-31 after three periods.

"We got to play a lot of girls [14] and we believe in that, " said Rogers. "That's valuable to us, and mixing the younger in and giving them their time."

Jen Walkling, a 5-foot-11 freshman, led the Owls with 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Emily Bollinger, another ninth-grader, had 10 points, and junior HollieCushen chipped in eight.

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