Roland becomes Bobcats' mainstay

Bel Air forward-center makes team a contender


February 04, 2007|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Reporter

Arlana Roland is the top player on the Bel Air girls basketball team, and Bobcats coach Calvin Skelton does not mind saying it.

"When teams prepare for us, the first thing they decide is how they are going to stop Arlana," Skelton said of the 6-foot-2 junior forward-center. "And then they worry about the rest of it. Arlana is spectacular. She can do it all. She has already been a two-time All-Harford County pick."

Roland averages a team-leading 12 points a game and is an excellent shot-blocker in addition to being a team co-captain with senior center Lydia Oliver.

Oliver, 5-11, is the top rebounder on the squad with seven a game, and she joins Roland as the only two players to get significant playing time last season.

"It's been a challenge to define what kind of team we are," Skelton said of the Bobcats (8-8). "I'd say our top strength this year has been our inside play of Roland, Oliver, the 6-foot Ellie Cassilly and 5-foot-9 Maddie Salamone."

Skelton said his team is difficult to contend with "when our inside game is going." He also calls his guard play consistent, with junior Janelle Roland (Arlana's sister), senior Gina Albano and freshman Monica Negron leading the way.

Negron is the floor leader, and Albano is the team's three-point shooter.

Also playing important roles in a rebuilding season for Bel Air have been freshman swing player Shannon Hurley, junior guard Ashley Cudmore, junior forward-center Kathleen Lehnert, junior guard Kory Webster, senior swing player Nikki Huertas and junior center Taylor Lambert.

Streak halted

When Fallston's boys rolled to a 53-34 victory over Aberdeen last week, it ended a 45-game winning streak for the Eagles against Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference teams.

It was Aberdeen's first loss ever in UCBAC play. This is the UCBAC's fourth season of competition in basketball.

Aberdeen won the UCBAC title in each of the conference's first three years. The loss dropped the Eagles out of first place for the first time in the Chesapeake Division as C. Milton Wright (7-1) edged half a game ahead of Aberdeen (6-1) with a 59-57 win over Bel Air the same night.

Fallston took command against Aberdeen by outscoring the Eagles 17-0 in the third quarter.

The Cougars improved to 4-4 in UCBAC play with the victory.

Close calls

The Havre de Grace boys basketball team knows its 8-7 record could be much better. The Warriors have lost five games that went into overtime or were decided by two points.

"We just haven't been able to finish," Warriors coach John Brooks said. "We've been hurt by turnovers. I think our basketball IQ wasn't as high as it should be. It's starting to get better. We're playing hard, and we play great defense. We just don't shoot that well."

Brooks said his team has lost three overtime games and dropped two games by two points. "Everything's been close," he said.

Frederick Harrison is the team's leading scorer with a 14-point average and averages seven rebounds. The Warriors' top all-around player is Travis Brown, who averages 12 points and leads the team in assists (three), steals (two) and blocks (two).

Jeff Seidel contributed to this article.

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