DuVal hands Catonsville first loss, 85-66, in final Bid for 1st state title in 63 years fails


COLLEGE PARK -- Catonsville's 63-year quest for a state title goes on.

The tall, talented and vastly quicker Tigers from DuVal ended Catonsville's bid for an undefeated season and first state championship since 1928 with an 85-66 victory in yesterday's boys Class 3A final at Cole Field House.

The Comets (25-1) were top-seeded, unbeaten and in pursuit of the sixth boys championship by a Baltimore County school. But third-seeded DuVal (21-5) claimed its second state title and first since 1970.

The Tigers led wire-to-wire, dominating every aspect of the game.

Carl Turner scored 32 points to lead an efficient, racehorse-style offense. DuVal hit 44 percent (35 of 80) of its shots and had four other players with at least 14 points.

Tyrone Boardley's 15 rebounds enabled the winners, who held a pronounced size advantage, to rule the boards. And, Curtis Jones' three steals paced a defense that forced 19 turnovers, many resulting in fast-break scores.

Catonsville's game-long inability to convert relatively easy shots inside meant the issue was not in doubt after the first three minutes.

"We haven't met anybody like that all year long. That's an outstanding team, a classic team," said Catonsville coach Art Gamzon. "Those three factors -- height, athletic ability and quickness -- combined with the fact that we failed to convert our shots, was just too much for us."

Catonsville, missing at least 10 layups and easy shots underneath, shot 26 percent in the first half and 35 percent (24 of 69) overall.

"Those weren't treys. Those were shots right in the paint -- good shots -- and we couldn't knock them in. We dug ourselves a real hole against a great team," Gamzon said.

After watching Turner burn Northern (Calvert) for 29 points in Thursday's 73-59 semifinal, Gamzon attempted to guard the Tigers point guard with three different players. But Turner scored 16, as DuVal raced to a 43-30 halftime lead.

Turner, Boardley and Stacey Robinson combined for 16 of the next 18, as DuVal opened its biggest lead, 59-35, with more than 12 minutes to play.

Catonsville's attempts to catch up were thwarted by poor shooting and fatigue, which repeatedly allowed the Tigers to beat the defense for breakaway scores.

"I don't want to minimize Catonsville's effort. They played hard, were well-coached and deserved to be undefeated," said DuVal coach Artie Walker. "But you can't coach quickness, speed or athleticism.

"Catonsville didn't get back on defense because they were tired. It was our idea to wear them out," Walker said.

Catonsville had a team-high 22 points from point guard David Clark and 15 from forward James Lewis, but no other player scored more than eight.

"It was bad luck for us all night long. Nothing was going in," Clark said. "But I'm sure that with such good, quick big men who could jump so high, we were subconsciously altering our shots."

Gamzon was coaching his second state championship game in his third trip to College Park. His Milford Mill team lost to Forestville in the 1985 Class 2A final.

"I thought the third time would be magic, but DuVal had great players," Gamzon said.

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