The last time the Arundel girls basketball team stopped a game to honor junior Alex McGuire, she didn't know it was coming.
This time, the standout guard was ready and - as for last night's game against No. 9 South River - so were the No. 1 Wildcats.
With 3:55 left in the second quarter, McGuire hit a pull-up jumper from 12 feet on the right side to become Arundel's all-time leading scorer. At that point, the Wildcats had a 16-point lead over their closest rivals in Anne Arundel County and went on for an 80-53 victory in Gambrills.
For McGuire, who finished with a game-high 28 points, giving her 1,342 in three varsity seasons, it was all good.
Another game ball, another standing ovation and this time - unlike on Jan. 6 when she was honored for being the quickest at Arundel to reach 1,000 points in a loss to Washington power Riverdale Baptist - they won.
"Once I got the eight points [to break 1998 graduate Sherice Proctor's mark of 1,321], I was like, 'OK, that's over with now, and we can play the rest of the game,'" said McGuire, who added five assists, three steals and three rebounds. "This time it's much sweeter. Even if I hadn't accomplished the mark or whatever, we played a really good game today, and that's just as good."
The Wildcats (19-2) improved to 15-0 in the county. South River (17-4) fell to 13-2 in the county. The two will meet again Thursday in the Anne Arundel County championship game at Chesapeake High.
Last night's game was played at Arundel's frantic pace, and the Seahawks simply couldn't keep up.
The Wildcats forced 28 turnovers and featured a balanced offense. Joining McGuire in double digits were senior point guard Ana Baker (16 points, eight assists, six steals), sophomore guard Danae Brownlee (15 points, seven rebounds) and junior forward Janae Butler (11 points, 14 rebounds).
The teams, which played a much tighter game earlier at South River, have been together at the top in Anne Arundel all season long. But after last night, it clearly looked like the Wildcats and the rest.
"The last game against them was a lot slower, so we wanted the game to have a faster pace. ... We just came out hard, playing defense, and our offense came with it," Baker said.
Afterward, Arundel coach Lee Rogers said McGuire's game is more than making baskets, explaining: "She's a complete player, and that sometimes goes unnoticed. She gets her assists, rebounds and plays defense."
South River got a team-high 15 points from junior guard Rachel Fry, with freshman Ali Moreland adding 10.