Catoctin gets revenge, title

Cougars turn tables on No. 10 Southside

Catoctin 61 Southside 45

Class 1A Girls basketball

high schools


Southside's Sheree Ledbetter understood exactly how the Catoctin players felt after they avenged last year's state semifinal loss to the Jaguars with a 61-45 victory in last night's state Class 1A girls basketball championship at UMBC's RAC Arena.

"I know the feeling to want to get somebody back, because it felt good to get revenge on New Town, so I know they're feeling good right now," said Ledbetter, who led Southside last night with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

The No. 10 Jaguars, who have been to the state final three straight years, beat New Town Friday, but could not follow it up with another victory. They got off to a slow start last night against their Frederick County foe and fell behind 14-4.

Catoctin senior Kate Robinson said last year's loss, 54-52 on a Ledbetter drive with three seconds left, was a motivational factor in the Cougars' title drive.

"Not only did we want to win states, but we knew Southside was going to be our opponent and we didn't want a repeat of last year. That really inspired us to do our best in this game," said Robinson, who finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Jaguars (21-3) certainly put up a fight. They shook off the early jitters, picked up the pace and pulled within 28-27 on Janaki Boston's three-pointer midway in the third quarter. The Cougars (22-3) then hit back-to-back shots to end a 13-3 Southside run.

The Cougars all but put the game away with a 16-3 run in the first half of the fourth quarter that included three-pointers from Monie Cudahee, Connie Cudahee and Ashley Metal. Kasey Gladhill's three-point play with 2:46 remaining gave Catoctin a 56-38 lead.

"Sometimes basketball is played in spurts and each team is going to have a run," said senior point guard Tiffany Lewis. "They had a run and we couldn't come back."

It appeared Southside might be able to make up some ground at the free-throw line after the Cougars picked up their seventh foul on a charge against Becky Cudahee with 1:15 to go in the third quarter, but Southside never got a one-and-one. Catoctin wasn't called for another foul until the final 37 seconds.

The title was the first for the Cougars, who were also in the final in 1986. The Jaguars have a championship trophy, too - from last year, assumed when New Town was stripped of the crown for using geographically ineligible players. Lewis (11 points, three assists) and fellow seniors Dara Mobley (10 points) and Kiana Hancock had hoped to win the title on the court this season.

"It's like Christmas morning to me," said Lewis, who scored more than 1,000 points in her four-year career. "You expect to get this one thing, this one thing that you always wanted, and you're disappointed and you don't get it. That's what it feels like to me."

S-Hicks 6, Mobley 10, Lewis 11, Ledbetter 12, Brooks 2, Boston 4. Totals 16 11-22 45. C-B. Cudahee 9, M. Cudahee 9, Gladhill 6, Robinson 15, Metal 12, C.Cudahee 3, DuBois 5, Kline 2. Totals 21 15-20 61. Half: C, 25-16.

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