COLLEGE PARK -- Teron Owens looked around Cole Field House yesterday afternoon before Catonsville High's Class 3A semifinal against DuVal and couldn't help but notice the posters the DuVal fans displayed that reminded the Comets of their loss to DuVal in last season's Class 3A championship game.
It was enough to inspire Owens to one of his best performances of his high school career. He scored 31 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had six steals to lead the top-seeded Comets to a 72-46 victory over fourth-seeded DuVal of Prince George's County.
Catonsville (23-2) will meet Potomac in the championship game tomorrow at 3 p.m. Potomac defeated Seneca Valley, 63-51, in yesterday's other Class 3A semifinal.
"When I saw them walk around here with the championship posters, it made me remember," said Owens, who was a starter in the 85-66 loss last season. "It felt good after what happened last year. I tried to play relaxed."
Catonsville had little trouble disposing of an undermanned and uninspired DuVal team that has been without its best player -- Maryland signee Stacey Robinson -- since the middle of the season. Robinson is academically ineligible.
DuVal (12-14) hit 18 of 69 shots and committed 26 turnovers. Catonsville raced to a 9-2 lead and led 23-12 at the end of the first quarter as DuVal hit four of 12 shots and committed 11 turnovers.
DuVal got within 29-26 late in the second quarter as Catonsville made just three of its first 14 shots, but the Comets made three of their final four to build a 35-25 halftime lead and never trailed by less than eight in the second half. They led by 20 for much of the second half.
"We weren't in sync from the beginning," said DuVal coach Artie Walker. "Unfortunately my kids came to visit Cole Field House and Catonsville came to win a big game. That's the difference. They tried their best but they weren't focused. What they did to us is what we did to them last year."
Walker refused to address Robinson's situation and also refused to use it as an excuse for his team's loss or seemingly uninspired performance.
"He's [Robinson] not here," said Walker. "This is about the guys who are here. He's a fine young man and I love him like a son."
DuVal struggled on offense, but the Tigers also had no answer for Owens, a quick 6-3 swingman who did most his damage driving to the basket.
In second-seeded Potomac's win, 6-2 senior forward Shannon Mason was rewarded with his first start of the season and responded with a game-high 31 points for the Braves (21-3), who won a state title in 1989.