Davis, Catonsville stifle No. 19 Franklin

Comets' 64-35 victory is fifth straight, atones for previous loss to Indians

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 24, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Catonsville senior guard Justin Davis may be his team's second leading scorer, but he can also defend quite well.

Last night, Davis held Franklin leading scorer Bernard Commodore to 11 points on 4-for-19 shooting, as the Comets trounced the No. 19 Indians, 64-35, in a Baltimore County Division I game in Catonsville for their fifth straight victory.

Commodore, who started the night averaging 28.3 points per game, was held to just two points and missed seven of eight shots in the second half.

"Most of the time, when they set the screens, I just tried to fight through them, get out there and get a hand in his face," said Davis, who scored six points, five less than his average. "We do a lot of drills where we work on interfering with the shooter. That has helped a lot."

Catonsville did nearly everything well offensively and defensively. Running a Princeton-style, half-court offense, the Comets repeatedly caught Franklin with backdoor cuts that led to easy layups.

Senior forward Scott Clipp scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and teammate Michael Edwards had 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals. Catonsville shot 46 percent from the field (24-for-52) and 81 percent from the line (13 of 16).

Meanwhile, the Comets (9-6, 5-3 league) held Franklin to 24 percent shooting (15 of 62), and out-rebounded the Indians 38-23 -- including 22-9 in the second half. Plus, Franklin, which shot 2-for-21 from three-point range, was held to just six free throws.

"We lost to them earlier in the season on a shot at the buzzer, and we knew we had to win this to have a shot at the county championship game," said Clipp, who averages 18.5 points a game and finished 8-for-15 from floor. "So we circled it. We saw in the paper that they were ranked, and we were confident we could beat this team. We came out, we played a great game and we shut down Commodore. He's a great player, but Justin did a great job on him."

With the score tied at 17 with 5:47 remaining in the first half, Catonsville came out of a timeout with 10 straight points and finished the half on a 20-5 run. Five different players scored in the outburst that gave the Comets a 37-22 halftime lead.

Franklin (11-3, 4-3), which lost its second straight and played without injured forward Phil Ranker, managed just 13 points in the second half. Clipp scored eight of his team's 15 points in the third quarter to extend Catonsville's lead to 52-29.

"Catonsville did exactly what they were supposed to do," Franklin coach Michael Thomas said. "They went down low with the ball, they beat us on the boards horribly and they outplayed us. That's the bottom line."

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