No. 1 Arundel suffers first loss of season to Holy Cross, 54-51

Montgomery school, No. 16 St. Mary's advance

Girls basketball

High Schools

December 27, 2003|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

LANHAM - One by one, Arundel All-Metro junior guard Alex McGuire made her way down the disappointing list after the No. 1-ranked Wildcats' opening game of the Holiday Hoops Classic yesterday against Holy Cross.

Points in transition ... rebounding ... free throws. All were uncharacteristic problem areas and each had turns taking its toll as the Wildcats surrendered their first loss of the season after four straight wins - a 54-51 setback to the Tartans from Montgomery County.

"It was just a lot of stuff," said McGuire, who eventually worked her way back to the lack of a running game that proved most costly. "We like to run and we didn't run today - at all. I don't know why. We were running a half-court offense and we don't play as well in the half court."

The Wildcats will next face Largo, which fell to Bullis, 57-42, at 2 p.m. today in a losers' bracket game of the eight-team tournament at Washington Bible College. The third and final day of the seventh annual tournament is Monday.

Despite not playing their fast-paced game against a bigger Holy Cross team that was able to stand up to the defensive pressure, the Wildcats - behind 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists from McGuire - led most of the way and had their chances at the end.

But it was the Tartans who showed better aim from the free-throw line and more energy under the basket to get big second-chance points needed in the close game. Forward Thea Littlepage led the strong inside play at both ends with seven points, 16 rebounds and six blocked shots.

The Wildcats, who came into the game hitting just under 70 percent from the line for the season, were good for only 50 percent yesterday (17-for-34) - making just one of two five times in the fourth quarter.

With the Wildcats leading 49-47 with 3:24 left, Holy Cross got a three-point play from forward Stephanie Menzen and then made four straight free throws - the last two from Taylor Yearwood with seven seconds left for a 54-51 lead.

A three-point try to tie from Brittany Watts fell short for the Wildcats in the final seconds.

"We made it a half-court game - for whatever reason - and that's not what we want to do," said Arundel coach Lee Rogers. "We had the right kids at the line missing the free throws. We're working on them; we just have to be a little more focused in ballgames."

Joining McGuire in double figures for the Wildcats was junior forward Janae Butler, who scored 12 points and added 13 rebounds. Junior point guard Anastasia Baker battled foul trouble in the first half, finished with two points and had six assists and three steals.

"We just didn't show up today - that's about it. We just got to come back tomorrow, work that much harder and let this one go," Baker said.

No. 16 St. Mary's 53, Lackey 46: With three players in double figures, the Saints were able to get past the Chargers from Charles County to advance in the winners' bracket in the eight-team field.

St. Mary's (2-2) will take on the winner of last night's Churchill-Forestville game at 8 p.m. tonight.

Junior guard Bridget Noon led the Saints with 14 points, with Katie Troise adding 12 and Bri Gauthier finishing with 11.

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