Baltimore County Sports

Catonsville girls basketball rallies from halftime deficit for 20-19 triumph over Towson

Catonsville's Leah Vacin goes up for a shot over Towson's Lucy Weir in the Comets' 20-19 victory.

Host Catonsville trailed Towson at halftime, but rallied for a 20-19 victory by holding the Generals to five points in the second half and no field goals in the fourth quarter.

The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Generals, who had six shots in the final 30 seconds, but couldn’t convert a go-ahead basket.


“It was hairy, we were holding on for dear life, but we held on,” Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said after Alexis Johnson secured her 10th rebound to seal the win.

Catonsville (6-4) was led in scoring by Emily Bartlett with seven points and Towson’s Audri Adams led the visitors with nine.


“It wasn’t pretty, but it was a really good gut win,” Mohler said. “We just hung in there.”

Catonsville overcame its poor shooting by forcing 27 turnovers, including seven steals from Asaani Offer.

Catonsville's Emily Bartlett goes up for two of her team-high seven points, while Towson's Leslie Howe chases her in the Comets' 20-19 victory.

“Playing defense is going to translate to offense,” Offer said. “We weren’t necessarily knocking all of our shots down, but playing defense and getting some stops and trying to beat them in transition or move the ball in slow down was how we won.”

The Generals (7-4) built their halftime lead on the strength of three 3-pointers from Adams. Senior guard Leslie Howe contributed five of her team-high seven steals in the opening half.

The Comets came out in the second half by stepping up its pressure to halfcourt and cutting down the passing lanes.

“We were just trying to read and anticipate so we could get steals and get up the floor since our shots weren’t falling and just try to beat them in transition,” Offer said. “I’m glad we kept the defensive intensity up, made sure the energy was high. Once we missed a shot we just had to lock down on defense and make them give the ball up.”

A basket by Bartlett started the scoring for the Comets in the second half, but Robin Bruno answered with a tough layup to bump the lead to 16-8 with 5:45 left in the third quarter.

The Comets responded with a 7-0 scoring run that started with a 3-pointer by Ellie Altmann. Jordan Edwards added a layup and Offer made two free throws to cut the lead to 16-15. Sydney Swift’s bucket helped the Generals take an 18-15 lead into the final quarter. It was one of only two field goals they made in the second half, and the last one.


“When they switched defenses in the second half and we couldn’t get anything to fall, I just think they kind of smelled blood in the water and they were ready to jump anything on the wings and in the passing lanes and it made it real difficult for us,” Towson coach Tim Gavin said.

An assist from Altmann to Johnson for a fast-break layup cut it to 18-17 and set the stage for the biggest shot of the game — a 3-pointer by Bartlett with 4:04 left in the fourth quarter pushed the Comets ahead, 20-18.

Towson's Sydney Swift grabs a rebound in the Generals' 20-19 loss at Catonsville.

“They [3-pointers by Altmann and Bartlett] were critical,” Mohler said. “The lid has been on the basket for us for a good bit of the year.”

The Generals made only 2 of 12 free throws, but their only point of the final quarter was a free throw by Janessa Horwitz with 1:21 remaining in the game. Altmann had two key blocked shots and Offer added two steals and two rebounds down the stretch to seal to deal.

“[Offer] is our leader,” Mohler said. “I know she’s frustrated with scoring, but she is our leader and she can defend anyone, I don’t care if it’s a guard or forward or center. She is our heart and soul.”

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“I’m glad we kept the defensive intensity up and made sure the energy was high,” Offer said. “Once we missed a shot we just had to lock down on defense and make them give the ball up.”


The late flurry of close misses in the final seconds didn’t make things easier for Gavin.

“The effort was there, that’s what gave us the chance at the end of the game,” he said. “We have just been playing so well offensively up until this point and it was just tough for us to get something to fall in the basket.”

Catonsville 20 Towson 19

C-Emily Bartlett 7, Alexis Johnson 4, Ellie Altmann 3, Jordan Edwards 2, Asaani Offer 2, Eden McPherson 2. T-Audri Adams 9, Janessa Hoirwitz 3, Leslie Howe 2, Sydney Swift 2, Robin Brino 2, Lucia Brino 1.

Halftime: 14-6 Towson