Fallston, the No. 4 team (20-1), and really tested only once since before Christmas, had all it could handle in turning back visiting Catonsville, 62-55, in a Class 2A North semifinal last night.
The three senior starters -- guard Lori Heffley and front-liners Jenny Weber and Candy Credito -- took charge in the final four minutes. At the end, Weber had seven of her side's final 14 points, as the Cougars broke away from a tie at 48.
Fallston, bidding for a fourth successive regional title, will be home against Towson, a 50-42 winner over Loch Raven, tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Overall, Fallston simply had too much of too many things -- experience, quickness and height -- but all of that nearly went for naught. The Comets simply refused to yield to a team loaded with state tournament experience.
"Last year was different," Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said of Fallston's 72-32 semifinal win that time. "This time, we weren't making the bus ride to keep it close or for some moral victory. We talked about it. We were coming to win.
"They're the fourth-ranked team. We can't play any better; we can't play any harder. We said, 'Let's go get them,' and we played great. It's just that Fallston has so much quality depth, and then No. 22 [Credito] and No. 23 [Weber] took over the game."
Credito, who, at 6-foot-2, is three inches taller than Catonsville's tallest player, Shannon Rexrode, finished with 23 points, including 14 in the second half, but it was a series of blocked shots in the second half that helped set the tone. "Each one got me more pumped," Credito said, "but they ran the floor and played really well."
Rexrode, who had 21 points in Tuesday's regional win over North Harford, came back with 30. A three-point shot and a rebound and basket by Meghann Mohler, sent Catonsville ahead for the last time, 45-44. Fallston went back in front, 48-44, and three Christina Tanner free throws helped tie it at 48.