On senior night at Catonsville High, it was a pair of juniors that stole the show in Milford Mill’s 69-57 victory in boys basketball on Wednesday evening.
Junior Ugo Obasi scored a game-high 28 points, making six three-pointers in the first half, and classmate Jeremiah Simmons added 15 points to lead the Millers (15-5).
Catonsville (15-7) was led in scoring by seniors Rashad Hatch (16 points), Jake Getzendanner (11) and Alfonzo Church (10).
Milford was coming off a 62-42 loss to Dundalk on its own senior night, but Obasi didn’t play because of the flu.
“On our scouting report, we didn’t have him [Obasi] on there, so we heard they were 0-for-12 [from three-point range], so we went zone hoping they couldn’t shoot from outside and they started off 8-for-8,” Catonsville coach Matt Fannon said.
Catonsville led 4-0 in the first minute of the game when Milford Mill coach Ryan Smith called a time out.
“We weren’t moving the ball like I wanted to at first, and that’s why I called the early 30-second timeout,” Smith said.
When they started moving the ball, Obasi found his shooting range and he never stopped.
Obasi made four three-pointers in the first quarter and Milford took a 30-22 lead at the break.
“That seems to happen against us, some kid just seems to have a great game against us,” Getzendanner said. “We play good defense and we get our hands up, but there is nothing else you can do about it.”
Church made two three-pointers and scored eight points and an emotional Getzendanner scored nine in the first quarter.
“This wasn’t just another game,” Getzendanner said. “This was a special game. My father [Jay Getzendanner] died three years ago today, so this was a real emotional game and it was my brother’s [Joey] senior night three years ago today, so it was really emotional.”
Joey, Jake and their mom, Patricia, walked out to center court when the seniors were recognized before the game.
Fannon praised Getzendanner’s effort and what he has done in three years on the varsity.
“He’s that guy who will do anything for your team,” Fannon said. “Tonight was emotional for being senior night, but also three years since his dad died, so I know he had a lot on his mind. He played his heart out.”
Getzendanner has played with senior Ross Kidd in Catonsville basketball programs for nine years and joined with seniors Nate Chambers, Mark Wall and Damon Hunt on the Catonsville C-Hawks in middle school under former Catonsville JV coach Dennis Keihm.
Getzendanner and Church were in the starting lineup with seniors Chambers, Kidd and Don Johnson and classmates Hatch, Wall and Hunt came off the bench.
But, they had no answer for Milford’s Obasi, who continued his hot shooting in the second quarter, connecting on two treys. He had 23 points at halftime.
“He’s like that all the time,” said Milford’s Smith, noting he’s already had a pair of 40-point games this season.
Catonsville stayed in a zone in the first half and the Millers continued to exploit it.
“It was back and forth the first five or six minutes, and they went on a little run at the end of the first quarter and they just kept shooting lights out in the second quarter and built that lead,” Fannon said.
Hatch came off the bench and gave the Comets a lift in the second quarter, but they still trailed 46-35 at halftime.
“He’s got a beautiful shot. He’s kind of an up-and-down kind of guy, but tonight, he was on," Fannon said. “He can give you good minutes. He’s very athletic and he can jump out of the gym.”
Fannon also praised the play of Kidd in his third season on the varsity.
“He’s really stepped up his game," Fannon said. "He’s more physical, he’s crashing the boards and he can shoot the mid-range jumper if needed, but tonight he posted up a lot.”
Posting Kidd up and slowing down the Millers was the goal, but when the Comets couldn't connect, Milford was off and running.
“Our goal was to try and slow them down because we know they like up-tempo, and unfortunately we didn’t do that,” Fannon said.
The Millers outscored the Comets 18-9 in the third quarter and cruised to the victory.
“We are small so we’ve got to use that speed, not with the dribble, but with the pass and that’s what we practice,” said Smith, whose squad will play against Perry Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 21 in the Baltimore County boys championship game.
In addition to the senior players recognized before the game, Catonsville senior team manager Kayla McDevitt and senior cheerleaders Taleya Jarrett, Ciera Hughes and Shiree Steward were also honored.
Fannon, whose squad will most likely play one more home game in the regional playoffs, will always have fond memories for this group of seniors.
“I’ve been here eight years, six years varsity, two JV before that, and I can’t remember a 15-win season. We are getting there.”
Getzendanner also praised his squad, that also includes juniors Amori Guadaloupe, Shawn Wagstaff and Mark Chambers.
“We get along more than any teammates in a while,” he said. “This year, it’s all chemistry and a lot of motivation too, and we just didn’t come out ahead tonight.”
Note: The Catonsville girls basketball team will play in the Baltimore County girls championship game against New Town on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Towson University's SECU Arena. The Comets won at Milford Mill, 48-44, on Wednesday night.
Milford Mill 69
Ugo Obasi 28, Jeremiah Simmons 15, Ahmed Milton 9, Malik Baker 6, Jamal McDermott 4, Davon Bumpers 3, Jajuan Smith 2, Tyrese Davis 2
Rashad Hatch 16, Jake Getzendanner 11, Alfonzo Church 10, Ross Kidd 6, Amori Guadaloupe 6, Don Johnson 4, Shawn Wagstaff 2, Mark Chambers 2.