Two girls basketball teams riding winning streaks met at Catonsville High School on Thursday night. Western Tech made sure early its streak would continue as the Wolverines raced to a quick lead and were never threatened in a 51-34 victory.
The Wolverines (8-1) opened the game on a 10-1 run and extended their hot streak to seven games, while the Comets’ (11-2) streak ended at nine.
Senior Destini Ward, who has committed to play Division I college basketball at St. Francis (Pa.) next year, led the Wolverines with 20 points.
“She has really dedicated herself to basketball all four years,” Western Tech coach Alan Lagon said. “Her family is great and supportive of that and it has really paid off. That’s why she has a scholarship to St. Francis. She is a great student and a great kid.”
Junior Danielle Weeks added 14 for the winners.
Ashley Dickey led the Comets with 17 points, 13 coming in the final quarter.
“They’ve got good guards,” Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said. “That’s a nice solid team. They stay with what they want to do and they do it well. (Ward) and (Weeks) were phenomenal. “She (Ward) is the real deal.”
Catonsville had shooting woes all night from the field and the foul line.
After Ward gave the Wolverines a 2-0 lead early in the game, Catonsville’s Alexis Johnson made a free throw to cut the lead in half.
It was one of only two free throws the Comets made all night as they finished 2 for 16 from the charity stripe.
Western Tech answered the free throw with eight straight points.
Ward had five, including a 3-pointer, Dyani Mattar added a bucket and Imani Groce buried a trey during the run.
Trailing by nine early, the Comets called a timeout and they got a lift with four points off the bench by Morgan Belt.
“Morgan played well,” Mohler said.
Western Tech led 14-7 after the quarter and extended the lead to 23-11 at halftime as it held the Comets to two field goals in the second quarter.
“I keep telling the girls one of the things we need to do is put together a four-quarter game,” Lagon said. “Most of our games we’ve only played pieces of, but I thought defensively we had a really good game. Offensively, we could have executed a lot better.”
They held the Comets to just 10 points in the third quarter and led 36-21 entering the fourth.
“This was a bad night to have a bad night and we did and it’s funny, we played last night at Randallstown and we couldn’t make anything, so this is like two nights in a row,” Mohler said.
The previous night the Comets blitzed Randallstown, 58-12.
Ward only had two points in the third quarter, but Weeks picked up the slack with seven.
“Everybody knows what they’ve got to do and when one person like me is off they know it is their turn to go too, so we take turns going hard and we are doing it for the team,” Ward said.
Dickey made three treys in the fourth quarter and scored all 13 of the Comets’ points, but the Wolverines continued to attack the Comets’ press and Ward had eight points in the final stanza.
She admitted the strong start was the key.
“We came out fired up because we know we have four road games in a row, so we know what we have to do and our goal is the county championship,” she said. “So now we’ve got to take it one game at a time and just lock in each opportunity we get.”
It’s the third year in Ward’s four seasons the Wolverines have beaten the Comets.
“It’s not a coincidence Western Tech started beating Catonsville when Destini showed up because Catonsville is really good,” Lagon said, noting the teams didn’t play last season because COVID canceled the season.
One bright spot for the Comets was the rebounding of junior Asaani Offer who had 14 rebounds, including seven offensive.
The 51 points were the most the Comets have given up all season.
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“Life goes on, it hurts us in the county, they will go on and play for the championship. We knew what was at stake and we just didn’t perform. Every phase of the game they outplayed us,” Mohler said.
“In some ways this is the most well-rounded team I’ve ever coached at Western Tech,” Lagon said. “We have seven or eight kids that can all shoot pretty well and do a lot of things.”
Western Tech 51
Destini Ward 20, Danielle Weeks 14, Dyani Mattar 6, Hannah Millen 4, Imani Groce 3, Amya Pulley 2, Ania Fredericks 2.
Ashley Dickey 17, Morgan Belt 6, Marissa Massimini 5, Asaani Offer 5, Alexis Johnson 1.
Halftime: 23-11 Western Tech