Towson girls basketball coach Bev Snyder said she wasn't quite sure what to expect from her eighth-ranked Generals heading into yesterday's showdown with Catonsville.
After all, inclement weather had kept her team -- like most others in the metro area -- off the court for a full week.
But once the game began, it was just like old times.
Host Towson broke out to a 20-6 lead after the first 10 minutes and went on to a 57-36 victory over the Comets in a Baltimore County 1A-2A League game.
The win kept the Generals in elite company, raising their record to 12-0 (11-0 in the league) and helping them remain one of only two unbeaten teams in the area along with Fallston.
It also all but assured them of the regular-season league title and a Feb. 26 date with likely 3A-4A League champion Randallstown in the Baltimore County championship game.
For Snyder, however, all that glittered wasn't gold.
She said it may take a few days for the Generals to shed a layer of rust that helped keep yesterday's game fairly close for 2 1/2 quarters.
"We were forcing things and we weren't moving at all," said Snyder. "Monday games are notoriously bad anyway, but a Monday game after a week-long break is something entirely different."
Catonsville (10-5 overall, 10-3 in the league), which lost to Towson, 77-52, in the teams' first meeting Jan. 12, was still within striking distance as late as 3 minutes, 28 seconds into the third quarter, when Shannon Rexrode's short jumper cut the lead to 10.
The Comets took advantage of 10 for 31 shooting and occasional sloppy passing by the Generals in the first half.
"Our shooting was off because we didn't do anything for a week," said guard Sarah Weaver, who led all scorers with 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds and six assists.
"Once we started hitting our shots, though, we really started to get the confidence back."
Leading, 33-23, Towson began hitting its shots and went on a 12-1 run to end the quarter, extending its lead to 45-24.
After shooting only 32 percent in the first half, the Generals shot 47 percent the rest of the way.
Catonsville, which hadn't played or practiced in 10 days, shot dismally throughout the game, connecting on just 29 percent of their shots from the field.
For Catonsville coach Dennis Quinby, that was the difference.
"We just didn't shoot well," said Quinby. "I thought we took good shots, but we just didn't connect. You can't have a bad shooting day and expect to beat a team like Towson."
Quinby had high praise for the Generals, saying that they were one of the best county teams he's seen in years.
"They're a good team -- the best in the county, I think," he said. "They're better than Randallstown because they play better team ball and also have the size to contend with them."
But the County title game is still nearly two weeks away. In that time, Towson is scheduled to play six more times.
Snyder says she will use those games to prepare for the playoffs, working on the basics and getting rid of the rust.
"We need to get back into a flow as a team," Snyder said. "A week off will really mess that up."