Entering Saturday's state championship games at Cole Field House, Catonsville and Edgewood shared high hopes and but one loss between them. By the end of the evening they shared disappointment and three losses.
For No. 5-ranked Catonsville (25-1), a perfect season was ended by DuVal of Prince George's County, 85-66, in the Class 3A final. The small, talented and quick Comets never quit, though they were outscored in every quarter, but DuVal was taller, quicker and more athletic.
Senior guard Carl Turner zipped through the Comets for 32 points while 6-foot-6 junior forward Stacy Robinson, a Division I prospect, added 19 and nine rebounds, and Tyrone Boardley, also 6-6, had 15 of each. Catonsville was led by David Clark, who had 22 points, and James Lewis, with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
"I was disappointed it had to end that way," said Comets coach Art Gamzon. "It was pretty much a dream season."
In fact, Catonsville achieved nearly all its dreams. "At the beginning of the season we set goals," Clark said. "We accomplished all the goals we asked for."
Gamzon had asked the kids for their team goals before the season began. They were written down and everyone got a copy. Among the goals was a chance to go to Cole and a chance to win the state championship. Nothing more. Of course, they wanted to win but, said Gamzon, "We didn't articulate anything else. We had 'showing class on and off the court' and 'keeping everyone eligible.' Things like that."
And, as the players achieved during the season, their coach got satisfaction, too. "One of the joys was to see the kids consistently play hard and play as a team and play with a lot of class and poise. We were really a team in the truest sense."
No. 12-ranked Edgewood (24-2) lost to another tall, talented and deep Prince George's County team, Forestville, in the 2A final, 77-59. Edgewood had come from behind to lead 48-43 with 1 minute 37 seconds left in the third quarter.
"They have so many talented athletes, they just wore us down," said Rams coach Bob Slagle. "We were giving away 3-4 inches per man.
"We played as hard as we could and as well as we could for as long as we could," Slagle said. "I have some very good athletes. Lawrence Worthington [6-1] has spent the entire year outjumping people on the center tap. Damon Bomar is an amazing individual. He's no more than 5-11 and he's averaged 11 rebounds for three years. Steve Lewis is very talented and Maurice Boone is great basketball player . . . But you can continue to amaze people being mighty mites only for so long."
In the Class 4A final, Irvin Church's 26 points led Parkdale of Prince George's County over Springbrook of Montgomery County, 68-54.