Catonsville's Tom Carey said he has never had a game quite like last night's against Hammond in the Wes Unseld Holiday Tournament at Catonsville Community College.
Then again, neither had the Comets or Bears.
The 6-foot-2 senior guard scored a career-high 24 points, including 18 in the second half, to lead Catonsville to a wild 53-45 win over Hammond.
The game featured two notable streaks -- one in which the Comets out scored the Bears 18-2 and one in which the Bears outscored the Comets 16-2.
But Carey shone through it all, hitting five three-pointers and picking up a struggling Catonsville offense.
"I haven't had a game like that since I was 12, maybe," said HTC Carey, whose previous best this year was 15 points. "I felt like I could shoot from anywhere."
In the first game, Randallstown edged Edmondson, 66-64.
Today, Edmondson will face Hammond for seventh place at 3, Randallstown will face Catonsville for fifth place at 4:45, No. 13 Broadneck will face No. 14 Mount St. Joseph in the first semifinal at 6:15, and No. 6 Woodlawn will face Loyola in the second semifinal at 8.
The two semifinal winners will meet tomorrow at 1:45 in the title game, after the consolation game at noon.
Though Catonsville will finish fifth at best, the win was significant. It not only moved the Comets back to the .500 mark (3-3), it gave them a much-needed boost after Monday's poorly played 58-40 loss to Loyola.
Hammond scored 10 of the game's first 12 points to take command early, but, led by Carey, the Comets scored 18 of the next 20 to take a 20-12 lead midway through the second quarter.
But with Catonsville leading 31-24 early in the third, the Bears took over, outscoring the Comets 16-2 over the next 7:03 to regain the lead, 39-35. Devon Montoute (12 points) and Irving Conwell (10) paced Hammond (1-4).
Catonsville's final streak, however, was enough to put it over the top. Carey scored six straight in a 1:33 span to help his team to an 18-2 run to put the game out of reach.
"They had the best streak at the end," said Hammond coach Jack Burke, who said that Carey's hot shooting was the difference. "He put them on his shoulders and carried them to the win. Everything he threw up bounced in."
In the opening game, Daron Ward scored a game-high 22 points and teammate Cameron Bryant added 14 as Randallstown (5-3) held on to defeat Edmondson (4-3).
The Rams trailed early, but changed the complexion of the game with a 14-0 run late in the first half to give them a 31-25 lead near intermission.