DuVal pulls inside job to thwart Catonsville

Tigers use size advantage to win semifinal, 54-44

Class 2A girls basketball

High schools

March 15, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said before last night's Class 2A girls basketball state semifinal that his team had a chance to beat defending champion DuVal if they kept the Tigers from making a big run.

The Comets nearly managed that tall task, but in the third quarter, the Tigers' height advantage finally overwhelmed them. Six-foot-1 center Jennifer Martin and 5-9 forward Sherika Thomas gave the Comets more than they could handle, powering the Prince George's County team to a 54-44 victory at UMBC's RAC Arena.

The Tigers (21-2) will try to extend their state-tournament record for titles to eight this afternoon when they meet Frederick County's Walkersville, a 40-37 winner over Aberdeen, in the 2A final at 1 p.m.

While the Comets might have been able to keep one of the Tigers' inside threats in check, they couldn't handle both. But it was Martin, who shot 8-for-16 from the field and finished with 17 points, who did the most damage, even though she did not score a point in the fourth quarter.

Martin scored seven straight Tigers points in a 10-1 third-quarter run that put DuVal over the top.

"We had them for so long," said Comets senior Becky Clipp, "but they had that girl [Martin]. They had that run of layups. We knew it was coming. We just had to weather it, and we didn't."

The Comets (17-7) took their last lead of the game, 27-24, with 5:50 left in the third quarter on Tanisha Drummond's 20-footer. DuVal's Jennifer Thomas answered with a three-pointer and Martin followed with two layups, a put-back and a free throw.

Only a free throw by Clipp interrupted the Tigers' 10-1 run that boosted their lead to 35-28 by late in the quarter. DuVal, which out-rebounded the Comets, 42-31, extended its lead to 44-34 by the middle of the final quarter.

The Comets had managed to keep the Tigers in check early after switching from man-to-man to a zone defense. That helped Catonsville take a 24-22 lead into halftime.

"They changed defenses and we didn't do a good job picking it up. They collapsed on Jen, and the high post never showed up," said DuVal coach Walter Clark, whose team turned the ball over 11 times in the first half but only four times in the second.

The Comets got a terrific game from Drummond, who scored six of her 13 points in the first quarter, and 5-6 sophomore guard Sandy Wasserbach, who finished with 15.

Wasserbach went inside against the DuVal front line early, battling for seven rebounds and finishing off a pair of three-point plays that helped the Comets to their halftime advantage.

C--Drummond 13, S.Wasserbach 15, Clipp 11, Popp 2, Blake 2, C.Wasserbach 1. Totals 16 10-14 44.D--Graves 5, S.Thomas 8, Martin 17, Whitmire 11, J.Thomas 9, Shores 2, Wade 2. Totals 19 13-22 54. Half: C, 24-22.

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