Catonsville captures crown with 3rd-quarter run, 51-39

Liggett fuels 12-0 surge in rout of Eastern Tech

Class 2A North girls basketball

High Schools

March 02, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Up just four points at halftime, No. 8 Catonsville used a third-quarter run to roll to a 51-39 victory over Eastern Tech for the Class 2A North Regional girls basketball championship last night.

Senior Ashley Liggett scored eight of the Comets' first 10 points in the third to spark a 12-0 run. She finished with 11 points, including three of her team's eight three-pointers.

"We had beaten them twice in the regular season, but we knew we had to give this team respect because they are a good team," said Carly Wasserbach, who led the Comets with a game-high 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The host Comets (21-5) earned their first trip to the state semifinals since 1996 and their sixth overall. Catonsville has never won a girls state title and has been runner-up twice (1984, 1987). Coach Mike Mohler led the Comets to their last region title, and they lost the county championship that year to Parkville, just as they did this year.

"It's funny but it's the same thing all over again, but we've been here [region final] four straight, so it's about time we got one," Mohler said. "Tech is athletic and their coach had them well-prepared. ... We had everything to lose because we were supposed to win."

April Stevenson's 13 points led Eastern Tech, in its first region final.

Catonsville's switch from a man-to-man defense in the first half to a zone in the second paid off: The Mavericks (19-6) hit nine of 19 field-goal attempts in the first half, but just nine of 30 in the last 16 minutes.

"That's the most zone we have played all year," Mohler said. "But we said early on, `Let's make them shooters' and went to the zone."

Tech got back-to-back three-pointers by Stevenson to close the third quarter down 38-26. They opened the fourth with baskets by Stevenson and Melinda Bellamy to get within eight points.

But a big three-pointer by Andrea Denton (six points, six rebounds) made it 41-30, and the Comets coasted from there.

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