Woodlawn's goal last night was to slow undefeated and sixth-ranked Catonsville (14-0, 12-0), and that's exactly what the Warriors did -- for almost two quarters.
But in the end, the Comets used 17 points by point guard David Clark and a stingy defense to turn back Woodlawn, 65-52, before an overflow crowd at Catonsville.
Teron Owens added 15 for the Comets, while Carlos Paul contributed 15 and Calvin Moore scored 11 for Woodlawn (9-4, 9-3).
The win gives the Comets a victory over every team in the Baltimore County 3A-4A League and leaves little doubt about which is the best.
"It was awesome," Clark said of the Comets' victory over the three-time defending league champions. "This was the final test [in the league] for us, and now no one can question who is best."
Woodlawn, ranked No. 20 and known to be one of the better defensive teams in the area, played well in holding the Comets below their 89-point average, but it was the Comets who excelled on defense.
Catonsville took a 7-2 lead, but the Warriors slowed the tempo and cut their deficit to 13-10 after the first quarter.
The Comets increased the margin to 16-10 on a three-pointer by Owens to begin the second quarter, but Woodlawn went on a 9-4 run to cut the lead to 20-19. After the teams traded baskets, Catonsville picked up the pace.
Leading, 25-24, the Comets took advantage of some key defensive rebounds by Marlon Barbourand James Lewis, running off the next nine points and using tenacious defense to increase the halftime margin to 34-26.
After Woodlawn cut the difference to 34-31 on a layup by Larry Bacon and a jumper and free throw by Paul, the third quarter was all Catonsville's. The Comets went on a 13-4 run to blow the game open, 47-35. Woodlawn got no closer than nine points after that.
"I thought we played well," said Woodlawn coach Rod Norris. "They pass very well and always find the open man and that was the difference tonight, that and their big men."
Catonsville's inside tandem of Barbour and Lewis outscored their Woodlawn counterparts, 20-2, in the lane.