To Joe Parker, it doesn't matter where you start, it's where you finish.
After starting in the beginning of the season, Arundel coach Gerald Moore decided the junior forward would play better coming off the bench.
Yesterday, Moore's move paid dividends for the No. 20 Wildcats (14-6), as Parker's rebound basket with 16 seconds remaining helped clinch a 54-51 Southern Division victory over No. 10 Broadneck at Arundel.
Parker (game-high 19 points) grabbed the rebound of Mike Tasker's (13 points) pull-up jumper with six seconds remaining.
He then found Jamell Miller (eight points six rebounds), who finished with a gliding two-handed jam.
"Now, I'm starting to let the game come to me, instead of rushing things like I was doing in the beginning of the season," Parker said. "If [coming off the bench] is what I need to do, than that's what I'll do."
Arundel found itself down 51-50, thanks to a driving basket by Jamaine Young (18 points, six rebounds) with 3:13 left.
After a miss in the lane by Parker, the Bruins then grabbed the rebound with 2 1/2 minutes remaining and began to salt away the clock with their patient double stack offensive set -- until the Wildcats turned up the defensive pressure
"We knew that if we got in their faces, we could get the ball " back," Parker said. "We started talking to them, and double-teaming who ever had the ball."
As a result, R.J. Farmer stripped the ball from guard Mike D'Archangelo with 37 seconds left, giving his team the chance it needed.
"We were doing fine up to that point, and then we gave it right to them," said Broadneck coach Ken Kazmarek. "We take pride in taking care of the ball, and we had done it up to that point. They just have some tough, athletic guys on their club that make things happen."
Jim Todd was the only other double figure scorer for the winners with 10 points. Eric Lipton led the winners in rebounding with seven.
Broadneck took total control of the first half just 2 1/2 minutes into the first quarter on a left-handed drive by Jamaine Young. Young also gave the Bruins its largest lead of the half at 32-25 on a turnaround jumper in the lane.
After a basket by Miller, John Williams (six points) put the visitors up by seven again with a breakaway dunk.
"When the calls are 50-50, we can play with anybody," Moore said. "Last time when we played them at their place, they shot 31 free throws. This time, the calls were even."
Broadneck (13-6) will now have to wait to clinch the Southern Division title when it plays host to Chesapeake tonight.