Playing point guard for just the second time this season, senior Mia Dammen helped Oakland Mills to a fast start en route to a 64-39 victory over Catonsville in a Class 3A state semifinal at Catonsville Community College last night.
The third-ranked and fourth-seeded Scorpions (23-2) will meet third-seeded DuVal (22-3), a 71-52 winner over second-seeded Northern-Calvert (20-5), in the Class 3A championship game tomorrow night at 8.
Dammen, who had 15 points, 11 steals and seven assists, moved from shooting guard to point guard after Stefanie Magro had to undergo appendectomy surgery hours before Saturday's region final against Howard.
The Scorpions raced to a 10-0 lead behind Dammen, who scored six points on layups off steals, and the top-seeded Comets (21-4) never recovered.
"We knew if we got out to a big lead then we could play our type of game," Dammen said.
Oakland Mills, which is making its first appearance in the state championship game since 1977, extended its lead to 19-5 after one quarter and 33-15 at halftime. Senior forward Andrea Romich scored eight of the Scorpions' 14 points in the second quarter.
The Scorpions seemed to lack intensity in the second half, however, as Catonsville twice pulled within 12 points in the third quarter.
"We were dragging in the second half," Oakland Mills coach Teresa Waters said. "We gave up too many points, but I think we're still adjusting to playing without Stefanie."
Oakland Mills senior forward Christine Copeland was second to Dammen in scoring with 13 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots, and Romich added 12 points, all in the first half.
Senior forward Amy Evans and junior guard Jill Altshuler scored eight points apiece to lead Catonsville.
In the other semifinal, Cheri Douglas scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead DuVal over Northern. DuVal rallied from a six-point halftime deficit, outscoring Northern, 23-10, in the third quarter.