Defending Class 4A state champion Catonsville (22-3) got dominant performances from senior standouts Jasmine Dickey and Jameila Barrett and strong contributions from reserves Sophi Wrisk and Maddi McLean and cruised to a 78-42 victory over host Paint Branch (20-3) in the Class 4A North championship game.
Dickey, who scored her 2,000th career point in the Comets’ 56-54 win over Howard in the regional semifinals, scored 26 of her 28 points in the second half after sitting the final 11:43 of the first half with two fouls.
Dickey, who will play at the University of Delaware next year, added 13 rebounds, four steals and two assists.
In the three games in the regional playoffs, including a 61-47 win over Western in the quarterfinals, Dickey had 85 points and 59 rebounds.
Barrett finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals against Paint Branch.
“We just know when somebody gets in foul trouble, it’s up to the next person to step up,” said Barrett, who led the Comets with 13 points in the first half.
“She is the quiet assassin,” Mohler said.
Wrisk had five points, six rebounds and two assists and McLean had four points and four rebounds off the bench.
Most of their contributions came with Dickey on the bench with foul trouble in the first half.
They helped extend a 7-4 lead to 34-18 at halftime without Dickey, who now has 2.038 career points.
“Sophi and Maddi were incredible off the bench,” said Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said, who notched win number 501 in his career. “That was the best game Sophi has had so far and it was just great to see her athleticism and for her to feel comfortable and Maddi McLean was phenomenal, with a couple of huge rebounds and baskets.”
Wrisk, who transferred from Mount de Sales this year, cherished her time on the court with her new teammates.
“We are so close and we are really like a family and I just love them this year,” Wrisk said.
Junior point guard Gabby Douglas contributed three steals to a defense that held Paint Branch to five field goals in the first half.
Senior Amele Ngwafang (14 points) and Patricia Anumgba (13) led the Panthers.
The Comets missed six layups in the first half, but that didn’t stop them from running their offense efficiently, especially in the second half.
“Whenever we ran our stuff, we were getting layups,” Mohler said. “I said to them at halftime, ‘Guys, we haven’t run a thing and we were up 16, get back into running your stuff.”
The Comets took his advice and outscored the Panther 25-9 with Dickey scoring 18.
Catonsville will be making its ninth trip to the state tournament’s final four and they will play Bethesda-CC at 3 p.m. at Towson University’s SECU Arena on March 8.
Jasmine Dickey 28, Jameila Barrett 18, Stashia Daniels 8, Gabby Douglas 6, Sophi Wrisk 5, Aysia Ferguson 5, Maddi McLean 4, Kolby Weedon 2, Bailie Grace 2
Paint Branch 42
Amele Ngwafang 14, Patricia Anumgba 13, Katerra Myers 8, Cynthia Stewart 3,
Alex Plummer 2, Olivia Merchant 2.
Halftime: Catonsville 34-18.