Arundel dismantles Frederick, 87-37

Scoring 17 straight propels No. 3 'Cats to region final

Class 4A East girls basketball

High schools

March 07, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

FREDERICK - Against an unfamiliar team on an unfamiliar court, the Arundel girls basketball team was obviously taking no chances last night.

How's this for taking hold of a game early? The No. 3 Wildcats scored 17 straight points in the opening five minutes and put up 30 in a stellar first quarter that helped make quick work of the Frederick Cadets in an 87-37 win that sends them to the Class 4A East region final.

Arundel will play host to Anne Arundel County rival Meade - a 64-57 winner over Westminster in last night's other semifinal - at 7 p.m. tomorrow in Gambrills. The Wildcats defeated Meade during the regular season.

Sophomore guard Alex McGuire led the Wildcats with 26 points, and senior guard Amanda Hernandez added 22. The Wildcats executed their offense to near perfection and played their typical grinding defense.

"This team is focused. If we can maintain this level of play we'll get back to [the state tournament at] UMBC," said Arundel coach Lee Rogers. "We just took what they gave us and we have kids on the wings who can shoot the ball."

That was evident in the first quarter. The Cadets (10-15) came out playing a 1-3-1 zone defense the Wildcats were prepared to exploit, with Hernandez, senior guard Jessie Collins (15 points) and sophomore Ana Baker all hitting early jumpers. Plus, McGuire had three layups off steals to build a 17-1 lead.

The Wildcats shot 60 percent from the field in the first quarter and made five of six from the free-throw line. They also forced 11 turnovers. It resulted in a 30-5 lead after one quarter that left no doubt for the remaining three quarters.

"We just went out and played hard," said Hernandez. "Our thing all season is defense wins championships, and we work hard on that in practice. But we also spend a lot of time in practice shooting the ball. They were giving us some open shots and we took them."

Eight players scored for the Wildcats, who seem to be playing at their best with one game separating them from next week's state tournament. Collins, a part of the Wildcats' last state title team as a freshman, is hoping for the same ending.

"It feels real good - we're out there playing our game," she said. "We won it my freshman year and it would be real nice to end things that way."

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