A tip-off on just how deep in talent second-ranked Arundel is came in the fourth quarter last night against Severna Park.
Coach Lee Rogers had many of his reserves on the court in the final eight minutes but the Wildcats still outscored the Falcons on the way to 74-52 victory.
Arundel (18-2, 14-0 in the South Division) took all the mystery out of the game in the first quarter, going on a 16-2 run for a 20-6 lead at the end of the first period.
Rogers, preparing his team for the state tournament, did not start substituting liberally until the fourth quarter when his lineup of mostly reserves outscored Severna Park, 22-21.
"I've been taking my starters out a lot in some recent games that we've had big leads and with the tournament drawing closer I wanted them to play more tonight," said Rogers.
Any kind of matchup between Arundel's Chavonne Hammond and Severna Park's Jennifer Holmes, two seniors who have received full scholarships to play at Vanderbilt next season, fizzled out.
The 6-foot Hammond never had to guard the 6-2 Holmes too much because seventh-ranked Severna Park (13-7, 10-4) couldn't get the ball into Holmes most of the night.
The Arundel pressure defense and quickness forced 32 Severna Park turnovers in 32 minutes.
Soon, Holmes became a little frustrated on offense and defense and moved away from the basket to help her teammates get the ball up court and to go for some steals on defense.
L However, it was way too late to help the Severna Park cause.
Hammond, hitting 10 of 14 from the free-throw line, scored 20 points, had six steals, three blocks and one assist.
Holmes, who didn't get her first shot from the field until midway through the second quarter, had 14 points, 14 rebounds, nine steals and two blocks.
Holmes has now lost six of the seven games she has played against Hammond and was obviously dejected when she was taken out of the game with 52 seconds left.
It was Holmes' last opportunity to play against Hammond in high school unless the two teams meet in the 4A regionals.
Joining Hammond in double scoring figures for Arundel were Lachelle McHenry and Sherice Proctor (12 points each) and Shannon Noon (11 points). McHenry also had five rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks.
Jen Mottar had nine points and eight rebounds for the visitors.
Rogers said: "We're on a mission. Last year we went to the state tournament and didn't win it [lost to Western in 4A championship game]. This year we're going there to win it."