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Catonsville Times top sports stories of 2011

By Craig Clary, cclary@patuxent.com

3:11 PM EST, January 3, 2012

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Life savers respond on Catonsville High turf

On Sept. 27, Perry Hall junior varsity field hockey player Breanna Sudano collapsed on the Catonsville High stadium field and stopped breathing.

In full cardiac arrest, Sudano received immediate CPR from Catonsville JV coach Christina Erlichman.

Sudano was revived as Erlichman was aided by Perry Hall JV coach Chastin Crook and nurses Beth Beautz, Shelly Hunt and Melissa Law.

"I just took over for the coach doing compressions," said Beautz, a cardiology nurse since 1989. "The JV coach (Erlichman) deserves a lot of credit. She acted quickly and started CPR."

Paramedics from Medic Unit 4 arrived at the scene, and used an electric shock from an AED (automated external defibrillator) to increase Breanna's heart rate. She was then transported to St. Agnes Hospital, and later moved to the University of Maryland Pediatric Unit.

Three days after Breanna collapsed, Perry Hall athletic director Bob Hruz said Breanna was "walking around, eating cookies and playing Wii."

"A miracle happened and she made it. I am just very, very happy for that family," Beautz said.

Beautz credited all who came to Breanna's aid: "There is no way one person could have done CPR by themselves. It was a team effort."

Catonsville football team makes historic run to regional crown

Catonsville High's football team won a school-record 12 games this season before losing in the Class 4A state semifinals to Old Mill, but the Comets closest victory, while piling up 12 straight wins, was a 30-28 triumph over Paint Branch in front of nearly 2,000 fans in the Class 4A North Region finals.

"It was the most exciting game I've ever been involved in," said Catonsville coach Rich Hambor, who earlier in the season captured his 50th career coaching victory in a 50-14 thrashing of traditional county juggernaut Hereford.

Catonsville trailed Paint Branch 9-0, before rallying behind 187 yards rushing on 43 carries by DeAndre Lane.

Joe Tebo started the comeback with a 40-yard interception return. Eric Meninger kicked a field goal and a short touchdown run from Lane gave the Comets a 17-9 lead

The Panthers went ahead 21-17 before Lane's touchdown run gave the Comets a 23-21 lead with 3:54 left in the third quarter.

They extended it to 30-21 on Lane's third touchdown run and answered Paint Branch's score to make it 30-28 by chewing up the last 7:37 of the game going 70 yards behind the offensive line of center Nathan Reeves, guards Jon Reymann and Brandon Dixon, tackles Travis Davis and Antoine Wright and tight end Julian Jones.

"That's the drive of the year," Hambor said.

The Comets' historic win at Poly the following week, that ended the 40-year coaching career of Roger Wrenn, earned the school's first-ever regional title.

No track, no problem for state champion Western Tech

Even without a track on campus, the Western Tech girls have something every better-endowed program cherishes — a championship, or in this case, two of them.

The Wolverines earned that by winning their second consecutive Class 1A state title Feb. 21.

Western Tech collected 81 points and easily outdistanced runner-up Boonsboro (49).

Junior Ashley Linton and freshman Sharon Dorsey were the lone Wolverines to win individual titles.

Linton captured the 800 meters and finished second to Dorsey in the 500.

"The whole race (500) I was in front, and she (Dorsey) came out of nowhere," Linton said. "I was like, 'where did that girl come from?'"

"If we had a track, I couldn't even tell you how good they could be," coach Shedrick Elliott said. "But I don't even let them think about it too much. That's why I make them focus more on the clock."

Catonsville girls stun Western in playoff thriller at home

On Feb. 25, the Catonsville girls triumphed over Western, of Baltimore City, 59-57 in overtime of the first round of the regional basketball playoffs.

The victory over the city champions came against a team that had eliminated Catonsville the previous three seasons — and four of the last five years — in the regional finals.

Coach Mike Mohler ranked it as one of the top three wins he's ever had at Catonsville High.

Stunned Western coach Tiffany Silver said of the Comets: "It was an out-of-body experience for them — probably the best game they played all season."

Catonsville sophomore Deb Milani certainly gave her best and then some.

Milani finished with 11 rebounds, six assists and four points.

"Milani played the game of her life," Mohler said. "I don't think she came out in the second half and overtime and she guarded what I consider their biggest offensive threat in (Tenecia) Spence, who is just an unbelievable player."

In addition to playing stellar defense on Spence, Milani also found sophomore classmate Maddie Hunt (12 points) with cross court passes for two of Hunt's three three-pointers in the third quarter when the Comets built a 42-31 lead.

Senior Zoey Whittington paved the way with a game-high 20 points and made two clutch free throws to tie the score at 51-51 after the Doves erased an 11-point deficit.

"I told myself just calm down and make the shots just like practice," said Whittington, who converted 15 of 19 free throws in the contest.

"They have had our number the last few years, but this game is about emotion and passion and tonight was just our night," said Mohler, whose 18-7 squad lost to Hereford in overtime in the regional semifinals.

Mount de Sales captures first field hockey championship

Mount de Sales celebrated its first-ever conference title in field hockey, thanks to relentless defense, hustling midfield play and a timely goal by Amanda Ignacio in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference championship game at Goucher College.

The Sailors (16-4-1, 10-2-1 league) defeated Maryvale Prep, 1-0, and handed the Lions (14-4, 11-1) their first conference loss of the season.

"Everybody on this team plays offense and defense very well and that's how you win championships," Mount de Sales coach Mary Gentner said.

Ignacio scored the goal when she drilled home a pass from Caroline Butler 6:13 into the contest.

The Sailors responded by holding the Lions scoreless on 18 corners overall, including six in the final 10 minutes of regulation.

"Once we stop them, we have the momentum so when we get another one, we kind of catch on to what they are going to do so we get out there and do what we do to stop them," said senior defender Caroline O'Ferrall, who was key to stopping the corners along with Lauren Hiltz, Courtney Geier and Butler and goalie Eve Lukowski.

The Sailors, who defeated Seton Keough in overtime, 1-0, in the semifinals at home, also received solid defense from midfielders Kayley Jones, Ashley Lesniewski and Leah DiGianomenico and forward Julianna Shearer.

Gentner's Sailors concluded an outstanding season, that also included wins over Westminster, Mariotts Ridge and A Conference finalist McDonogh.

"16-4-1. What a season, and our first banner ever," Gentner said.

Catonsville boys wins county soccer championship

Catonsville junior Jose Moran scored a second-half goal and junior goalie Kevin Sheppard saved a penalty kick by Franklin's Michael Cronauer to preserve a 1-0 win in the Baltimore County championship game on Oct. 26.

Although Catonsville has twice been crowned county champions, before a final game was played, they have never won a county championship game.

Catonsville coach Vic Vega had no problem getting doused with a bucket of ice water after the game. He loved talking about the Comets winning the championship.

"The last five years we have been knocking on the door," said Vega, who is in his seventh year as coach. "We lost like in the last game of the season last year for the chance to go to the county (championship).

"This is the most determined team I have ever coached," he added. "These kids just work hard."

Rolling Road golf ladies break lengthy streak

It may have been 31 years since the Rolling Road women's golf team won a championship, but it only took one hole for Kendall Skirven to know that she was on the verge of being forever linked in history with her mom.

"When I birdied the first hole, I said 'it's going to be a good day,'" said Skirven, who was teamed with Terry Aylsworth to help Rolling Road win the Women's Golf Association of Maryland's Legg Bracket trophy.

Rolling Road defeated Country Club of Maryland at Greenspring Country Club on June 3.

Skirven's late mom, nicknamed 'Frenchie,' was on the last Rolling Road championship team in 1980.

That squad won the Hutzler's bracket trophy and one of Frenchie's good friends and playing partners was Joan Winchester — captain of this year's squad.

On the 2011 championship team, Winchester was paired with Deb Malone while Corrie Christensen was paired with Roberta Lavin, and Kanya Sastura played with Susan Sosnowski.

"We were thrilled that we beat a very experienced team," Winchester said.

They also beat a very confident team, but the top-seeded Rolling Road squad was also brimming with confidence after dispatching Towson Golf and Country Club in the semifinals.

"The girls were really thrilled and so were the club members," said Winchester, whose squad was treated with three bottles of celebratory champagne, courtesy of Rolling Road head golf professional Bill Bassler Jr.

Tandem sprints to stardom

Catonsville High sprinters, sophomore DeAndre Lane and junior Vincent Randlett-Tydings pulled off an unprecedented feat at the Baltimore County indoor meet at the Fifth Regiment Armory on Jan. 25.

The 1-2 finish in the shortest race at the championship meet — 55 meters — is believed to be a first for any Comet tandem.

Assistant coach Nate Dryer had a feeling Lane was primed for the upset in his first indoor season.

"I told him on the bus, 'If you get your start, you will win the 55,'" Dyer said. "Nobody knew he was going to do it."

Lane crossed in 6.60 and Randlett-Tydings, nicknamed "Bubba," closed strong in 6.70.

"You gotta go," Lane said. "If you mess up at the start, you are done."

Lane's seeding time in the event was 6.84 and Randlett-Tyding's was 6.94.

"He (Lane) is just an explosive, dynamic kid," Dyer said. "I was almost as proud that we finished 1-2 because 'Bubba' is a complete runner. His performance today with all the races he ran was just phenomenal."

Randlett-Tydings was also productive in the 300 (4th, 38.80) and helped Lane, Aaron Jones and Anthony Robertson-Wynn in the 800 relay (3rd, 1:39.80).

Randlett-Tydings led off with a sizzling first 400 meters in the 1,600 relay with the same foursome.

Catonsville goalie saves best for last in win over Dulaney

In one year, Catonsville senior goalie Hannah Jefferey went from not playing field hockey, to playing in one of the greatest games of her life.

Jefferey, who was a field player as a sophomore on the junior varsity, didn't play as a junior, but returned this year when the Comets needed a keeper.

Against Dulaney, she was in the cage making the final save during a stroke-off to earn the Comets a 2-1 victory over the visiting Lions.

"I was terrified the whole time," Jefferey said. "All the adrenaline kept me going and it was an incredible game. I think it was the biggest game ever, and it was the best game any of us has ever played."

In the stroke-off, which features five players from each side, Dulaney's first shooter, Kenzie Brown, gave the Lions a 1-0 lead, before Jefferey turned back the next four shooters.

Catonsville's Catherine Sweeney, the Comets' third stroker, tied it at 1-1. The next Comet, Kendall Law, gave them a 2-1 game-winning advantage.

Jefferey's best work may have come during the second overtime when she made six of her 11 saves.

Meanwhile, Jefferey's supporting cast during the 7-on-7 overtimes was equally impressive.

Catonsville sophomore defender Kelly Reymann, junior midfielders Maddie Hunt and Law, sophomore forward Brooke Stevens and freshman forwards Emma Clark and Sweeney were relentless in their pursuit.

Catonsville took only three shots in the first half, but one resulted in a goal from junior midfielder Sydney Corbitt.

The second half was dominated by defensive gems from Reymann, Maggie Whelley and Hannah Summer.

"It was just a complete team effort that made us win that game," Jefferey said.

Comet seniors special in the end

In the final home game of their basketball careers at Catonsville, seven seniors contributed to an 86-75 win over Hereford.

None made more of a statement than senior point guard Zach Hall, who saved his best for last on Feb. 16.

Hall scored a career-high 24 points, all in the first three quarters, as the Comets built a 55-49 lead.

His last basket may have been the most crucial of the game.

It came after Hereford senior Joey Jones converted an old-fashioned three-point play with six seconds left in the third period, cutting Catonsville's lead to 53-49.

"I was in a zone right from the beginning and, once the first couple started to drop, I felt like I had a lot of confidence," Hall said. "It felt like everything I was throwing up was going in."

His scoring outburst didn't surprise coach Brian Barber, who watched Hall go from a reserve last season to a durable backcourt distributor and ball handler.

He's currently playing at Goucher College.

"He showed flashes of it last year, but he wasn't getting enough time and wasn't cracking the lineup, but he outworked the guys that were in front of him and has earned the position," Barber said. "Tonight was just a culmination of the entire year for Zach in one game."

Hall had 14 points by halftime and added 10 more in the third quarter before handing off the scoring duties to classmates Jason Harris and D.J. Kearney in the final quarter.

Harris finished with 17 points, including 14 in the final period.

"I said, if this is my last home game, I want to go out with a bang, and that's how all our mind sets were," Harris said.

Kearney Jr. (20 points) helped seal the deal by hitting 7 of 8 free throws in the final quarter and scoring nine points.

Senior Jamal Jackson, a three-year varsity player, finished with eight points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals.

"We had to step up because it was senior night," he said.

Senior Graham Antoszewski came through with nine points and four rebounds, while senior Dontye Adams hauled in a team-high eight rebounds to go along with four points.

Senior Reggie Christian added a pair of boards and two points.