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Catonsville's Sophi Wrisk, shown scoring two of her 13 points in the Comets' 70-41 playoff win over Perry Hall last year, returns for her senior season for the Comets, who open their home season on Saturday, Dec. 14 against Mount de Sales in the Catonsville Cup.
Catonsville's Sophi Wrisk, shown scoring two of her 13 points in the Comets' 70-41 playoff win over Perry Hall last year, returns for her senior season for the Comets, who open their home season on Saturday, Dec. 14 against Mount de Sales in the Catonsville Cup. (Daniel Kucin Jr. / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

After winning a state championship in 2017 and falling in the state title game in 2018, Catonsville didn’t reach the final four last year, but coach Mike Mohler’s team went 17-7 and defeated Perry Hall by 29 points in the first round of the regional playoffs.

The season ended with a second-round loss to Howard, but the 17 wins gave Mohler 519 career victories.

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He is in his 26th season as coach of the Comets and expects his 2019-2020 squad to elevate the pace.

“We are trying to play up-tempo and we are going to try and use our lack of height to our advantage and not a disadvantage and try and make our games track meets because we don’t have a lot of size,” Mohler said.

The top returning inside player is senior Maddi McLean (6-feet, 2 inches), who is in her fourth varsity season.

Seniors Sophi Wrisk and Rhiana Saunders return to the varsity lineup and sophomore Ashley Dickey gained varsity experience last season.

Wrisk, the 2019 Catonsville Times Athlete of the Year, is signed to play lacrosse at the University of Maryland, but her contributions on the basketball court will be vital.

Her athleticism and tenacity on defense are her strengths. The coach sees that tenacity in a newcomer to the varsity squad.

“A kid who is going to play a lot because she’s the smallest kid with the biggest heart and that is Marissa Massimini,” Mohler said. “She’s a throwback to the old-time get on the floor, do whatever you have to do to get the ball.”

The 5-foot-5 sophomore guard will be in the backcourt rotation with senior Kolby Weedon and juniors Amber McDevitt and Jen Lewis.

The graduation of four-year starting point guard Gabby Douglas opens up a spot Mohler hopes to fill with Massimini, Dickey and Lewis.

“We will switch on and off. We are still trying to figure out where we fit best,” Mohler said.

Catonsville's Maddi McLean, right, returns for her fourth varsity season on the Comets.
Catonsville's Maddi McLean, right, returns for her fourth varsity season on the Comets. (Daniel Kucin, Jr. / For Baltimore Sun Media)

Freshman Ny’Asia Thomas (6-feet) makes her varsity debut this season.

"She is so young and inexperienced, but she’s got great long arms and long legs and takes up a lot of the court and we’ve just got to coach,” Mohler said.

Junior reserves include Alli Kahler, Paige Harper, Destinynae Jackson and Jordan Johnson and senior Kaiya Watkins-Brent will come off the bench.

“Our biggest problem right now is going to be putting the ball in the basket,” said Mohler, who has also teaching fundamentals during the pre-season. “We’ve got a lot of fundamentals that we’ve got to change, but at the same time, we’ve got to get ready to play games.”

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Catonsville opens its season at Owings Mills on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m.

Catonsville Cup Charity Event

The 7th annual Catonsville Cup will be held at Catonsville High on Saturday, Dec. 14.

The Catonsville JV girls play Mount de Sales in the opener at 10:30 a.m. followed by the Catonsville JV boys against Mount St. Joseph at 12:15.

The Catonsville boys play Mount St. Joe at 2 p.m. followed by the Comet girls against de Sales at 3:45 p.m.

The charity event is in honor of Catonsville High announcer and 1987 Catonsville graduate Pete McDevitt.

In September, McDevitt, the father of Catonsville junior guard Amber, was struck with Sepsis and Toxic Shock, leading to the amputation of his left hand and foot.

“It’s a great, great charitable endeavor, we are going to donate to the Pete McDevitt Foundation and it couldn’t go to a better cause,” Mohler said. “He is Mr. Catonsville.”

The money raised from the charity event will help the McDevitt family pay benefit bills and take care of the family during his rehabilitation and recovery.

If fans can’t make it to the event, donations can be made to the venmo @mcdevitt_family24.

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