For the Catonsville basketball team, the final four minutes of the first half last night against host Woodlawn were as good as it gets.
The 10th-ranked Comets hit nine of 13 shots and outscored the Warriors, 22-0, en route to a 68-50 Baltimore County 4A-3A Division win.
"That's the most dominating we've been all season," said forward James Lewis, who led the Comets with 19 points.
Said guard Teron Owens: "We stuck with their best shooters and controlled the boards. We played together. That was the key."
Catonsville (14-1, 13-0) out-rebounded Woodlawn, 32-19, and got second and third shots on several occasions.
After looking sluggish early, and trailing 18-14 with 4:00 left before halftime, the Comets took flight. Using a humbling man-to-man pressure defense Catonsville forced eight Woodlawn turnovers in the next 3:44, then turned its defense into fast-break baskets.
"In the second quarter, we were really aggressive, defensively," said Catonsville coach Art Gamzon. "I would say that was certainly one of the best stretches we've had.
"When we start to roll, it picks up everybody on the team."
Teron Owens started the run with a long jumper to cut the Woodlawn lead to 2. Robby Reich followed seconds later after a Woodlawn miss with a three pointer to give the Comets a 19-18 lead.
"We made a couple of defensive mistakes at the beginning of that run," said Woodlawn coach Rod Norris, whose team fell to 10-5, including 10-3 in the division. "After that, we just lost our composure with the ball."
In the 3:23 that followed, Catonsville's relentless defensive pressure made it seem as if the court was slanted toward the Comets' basket. They outshot the Warriors, 38-19, in the first half, and led, 36-18 at halftime.
"That was some run," said Norris. "They played like an undefeated team."