Neither host Catonsville or Hammond scored for the first 3:19 of the boys basketball game Monday night, but once Hammond senior Eddie Alexander made a three-pointer, the floodgates opened for the Golden Bears and they never stopped in a 71-30 victory.
Hammond (2-0) got points from 13 different players with freshman TJ King (13 points) leading the way.
Caleb Bennett (10), David Aodu and Khaleb Mair (nine each) followed him in the scoring department.
Catonsville (0-2) was led by Dashawn Dixon, who scored 15 points.
“Hats off the Hammond, they came out and they played basketball and we didn’t answer tonight,” said Catonsville coach Dennis Keihm, whose squad lost 53-51 in its season opener. “We were coming off a fairly good showing at Dundalk and we couldn’t get anything to go down in that first three minutes.”
Catonsville’s first points came after a pass from Cam Burch to Noah Waltz for a layup with 3:50 left in the first quarter, making it 5-2.
Hammond responded by scoring 10 straight points and eventually taking a 17-4 lead into the second quarter.
During the stretch, they went to a zone press and forced five Catonsville turnovers.
“We scouted them last week and saw that we thought we could speed them up a little bit and get some turnovers on the press, so once that slow start ended, we figured we needed to wake up a little bit, so that’s when we decided to go to it,” Hammond coach Mike Salapata said.
Alexander and Bennett had five points each in the first quarter and Aodu had four.
King bounced off the bench in the second quarter and scored eight points to help extend the lead to 37-8 at halftime and the Golden Bears cruised from there.
Salapata was somewhat surprised by the margin of victory.
“It’s the youngest team I’ve ever had,” he said. We’ve got a freshman, five sophomores and we’ve only got three seniors on the roster, so it’s enjoyable watching these young kids, especially some of these kids that have never really played varsity basketball before, they get in a game like this and just play and it’s good.”
Catonsville lacks varsity experience and it showed when the pressure intensified and pace quickened.
“We have two returning varsity players, so the other kids have to learn how to compete at this level and that’s up to me,” Keihm said. “I need to get them ready and we just weren’t ready tonight. We’ve got a long ways to go, we’ve got a lot of work to do, but the resources are here. We’ve got Owings Mills on Thursday and St. Joe on Saturday, so it’s not going to get any easier."
The Comets will play Mount St. Joseph at 2 p.m. at Catonsville High on Dec. 14 in the 7th annual Catonsville Cup, followed by the Catonsville and Mount de Sales girls varsity game 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 High 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,” Catonsville girls coach Mike 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.
TJ King 13, Caleb Bennett 10, David Aodu 9, Khaleb Mair 9, Eddy Alexander 7, Zach Johnson 5, Tamar Wilson 4, Devon Edwards 4, Cal Hewitt 2, Kendric Owens 2, Reilly Moore 2, Ian Addison 2, Nick Thomas 2.