Mustangs cruise in 3A North semifinal

Mervo 70 Catonsville 50

Boys Basketball

March 03, 2006|By LEM SATTERFIELD | LEM SATTERFIELD,SUN REPORTER

No. 12 Mervo didn't get caught looking past Catonsville. Rather, the Mustangs blew past the visiting Comets yesterday, using its quickness to exploit the visitors' backcourt early en route to a 70-50 Class 3A North region semifinal rout.

The Mustangs (20-4) were led by 6-foot sophomore guard Antoine Wallace with a game-high 22 points, eight rebounds, six steals and five assists, as well as 5-8 senior Walter Saunders, who contributed 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

The win earned Mervo a berth in tomorrow's title game at No. 2 Walbrook (21-4), which routed the Mustangs, 64-37, in their season opener.

"This was about getting over the hump to get back to Walbrook," said Wallace, who scored 10 points in the third quarter and went 6-for-7 from the free-throw line. "We weren't quite together as a team when we played Walbrook the first time. Tonight, we played together, but against Walbrook, we're the underdog."

The Mustangs set the tempo in the first quarter, after which they led, 21-12, and during which seven of the Comets' 10 turnovers resulted from Mervo's steals.

Junior Tarrell Martin had four steals to go with 11 assists and seven points, and 6-4 forward John Williams had seven each in points and rebounds.

Lonnie Smith, a 6-2 forward, was part of Mervo's balanced attack, scoring five of his seven points early in the fourth as coach Daryl Wade subbed in reserves.

Neal Davis, a 6-4 center, had 20 points and eight rebounds for the Comets (16-7), who enjoyed their best season in five years under third-year coach Brian Barber.

Ryan Slepesky (13) and Chris Thomas (10) also scored in double figures for Catonsville, which went winless four years ago, was 2-18 the following season and finished just over .500 last year.

The Mustangs now turn their attention to Walbrook, last year's 4A state champion, and 6-5 All-Metro swing guard Rodney Spruill.

lem.satterfield@baltsun.com

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