Yesterday's Baltimore County 4A-3A Division matchup pitting No. 17 Dulaney and Catonsville figured to be competitive.
Catonsville boasted speed and outside shooting; Dulaney had height and a formidable inside game, and they were playing for first place.
So when Dulaney won so easily, 65-32, it was an unexpected, though pleasant, occurrence to Lions coach Elaine Lindsay.
"This was a complete surprise," said Lindsay, whose team held Catonsville (5-2 league and overall) to 19 percent from the floor, including just 5-for-31 in the second half. "I really expected this to be close. We just did a really great job on defense."
Battling man-to-man pressure from the start, Catonsville misfired on its first seven shots, and on 22 of its first 25. Only twice did the Comets convert consecutive shots.
"I knew they would come out in a man-to-man [defense]," said Catonsville coach Dennis Quinby, "but I didn't think they'd be that good at it."
Turning defense into offense, Dulaney (7-0 league, overall) jumped to an 8-2 lead and never looked back, expanding its lead throughout the contest.
The Lions, who held height advantages at four positions for most of the game, used their size effectively. Amy Luttrell, a 5-foot-10 senior, scored a team-high 26 points.
"We've been practicing really hard on [our] man-to-man [defense]," said Luttrell, who also contributed 12 rebounds and five assists. "We really played it well. We weren't expecting it to be like this at all."