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Catonsville boys basketball rallies past Hereford in second half for 51-47 victory

Catonsville boys basketball rallied from a 10-point deficit late in the first half for a 51-47 victory over visiting Hereford on Friday night.

Hereford’s first six field goals in the opening half were all 3-pointers. When Liam Diehl made a layup with 1:10 left in the first half, it marked the Bulls’ first points from inside the arc.

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That stretched Hereford’s lead to 26-16, but Brian Ruppel got a steal and conventional three-point play with 46 seconds left. His rebound led to a fast-break bucket with 21 seconds left to cut the deficit in half at the break.

Ruppel had 16 of his game-high 18 points in the first three quarters.

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“He is our rock and he kept us in it and we made some adjustments and had other guys step up and make some shots,” Catonsville coach Evan Dougherty said.

Hereford (2-2) built its lead on four 3-pointers by Ethan Morgan (16 points) and one each from Pete Capan and Joey Rhoads in the first half.

“I think together the three of them are all really good guards and guys we can count on and they all have their strengths and weaknesses, but they can all shoot it,” said coach Jim Rhoads, noting they have played together since the third grade. “Our strength is definitely our perimeter guys.”

Catonsville (2-2) switched from a zone in the first half to a man-to-man defense in the second and held the Bulls to just one 3-pointer — from Rhoads — in the final 16 minutes.

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Catonsville outscored the Bulls 16-13 in the third quarter and only trailed 39-37 heading into the fourth. Ruppel and Tariq Martin had four points each and Reggie Byrd, Kenrick Smith and Bishop Turnquist added two each in the quarter.

A 3-pointer by Turnquist pushed the Comets ahead, 40-39, early in the fourth quarter. Capan pulled the Bulls back ahead, 41-40, but Martin gave the Comets the lead again, 42-41, with 7:04 left.

A put-back by Byrd with 6:33 left was answered by a basket from Diehl and it was 44-43 with 4:14 left in the quarter.

“Byrd played some big minutes for us,” Dougherty said.

A minute later, Catonsville’s Michael Owens knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 47-43. The Bulls never got any closer.

“That was a big shot,” Dougherty said. “We expect him to hit those for sure. We know he can hit those. It just comes with confidence and more play as well.”

Owens had missed his previous two 3-pointers in the quarter before making the clutch shot. The Comets held the Bulls to two field goals and just eight points in the final quarter.

“We just ran out of gas and it was still a one- or two-possession game,” Rhoads said. “That’s what happened.”

Hereford suited up just eight players. One was just getting back from being sick and another was under the weather.

“We are going to stick it out and play hard and have a fun season. I’ve got eight kids and I love them all and we are going to be there,” Rhoads said.

Catonsville had lost two close games to Woodlawn, 50-49, and Westminster, 50-47, and defeated Owings Mills, 57-52.

“We haven’t had a game yet that wasn’t close, so this is definitely giving us experience,” said Dougherty, noting the team is still trying to overcome injuries to key players Reily Jones (high ankle sprain) and Dominic Brogdon (dislocated shoulder).

“I don’t know if we’ve had a single game yet where we were fully healthy,” Dougherty said.

Scoring

Catonsville 51: Brian Ruppel 18, Tariq Martin 6, Reggie Byrd 6, Bishop Turnquist 5, Aaron Mekonen 5, Michael Owens 5, Kenrick Smith 4, Isaiah Coles 2

Hereford 47: Ethan Morgan 16, Joey Rhoads 12, Liam Diehl 8, Pete Capan 5, Nathan Van Note 4, Nathan Brent 2

Halftime: 26-21 Hereford

Catonsville girls basketball defeats Hereford

Catonsville girls basketball rallied from a 12-3 first-quarter deficit to defeat No. 11 Hereford, 48-37. Ashley Dickey led the visiting Comets with 22 points.

Catonsville Cup set for Saturday

Catonsville High will host the Catonsville Cup on Saturday, with all proceeds going to The Children’s Home.

The first game is at 10:45 a.m. between the Catonsville and Mount de Sales JV squads. The Catonsville boys JV follows at noon against Chapelgate Christian with the Comets boys varsity playing Chapelgate at 2 p.m. and the Catonsville girls varsity playing Mound de Sales at 3:45 p.m.

Jasmine Dickey’s jersey will be retired before the girls varsity game.

Dickey was the leading scorer for Catonsville’s 2017 state championship team. She is currently the leading scorer in NCAA Division I (25.6 points per game) as a senior at the University of Delaware.

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