Catonsville's Shamika Williams could have been thinking about a lot of things when she stepped to the free-throw line with 13 seconds left and her girls basketball team clinging to a two-point lead over Dulaney last night.
A junior guard, she appeared tired during the game and had missed two free throws a little more than a minute earlier, but she wasn't thinking about either of those things.
"I was thinking, 'Just make these.' They were big shots and I had to make them," Williams said.
She did, completing a 25-point effort to lead the No. 6 Comets to a 51-47 victory over the visiting Lions in a Baltimore County Class 4A-3A league game.
Williams had to work especially hard last night, because her most experienced teammates, Jessica Nonn and Shelby Polk, sat out long stretches in foul trouble. The Comets were also without 6-foot-1 starting center Maya Torrian, who was at the hospital getting her right hand X-rayed after injuring it on a hinge on the scorer's table while setting up for the game. (It wasn't broken.)
"It's fun [to play every minute], but it's also exhausting. I know my teammates count on me, so that gives me the motivation to push through," said Williams, who also had 11 rebounds and six assists.
The Comets (14-2, 6-0 league) were in a nail-biter the entire game thanks largely to the battle between Williams and Dulaney's versatile 6-2 Danielle Parker, who dominated inside and finished with 24 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
The only time the Comets looked as if they might get some breathing room, taking an eight-point lead late in the third quarter, Parker scored three straight baskets to cut the lead to three.
"On the whole, I don't think we played our best, but you can credit their defense. They pressured our guards into going places they didn't want to go and got us out of our offensive flow," said Dulaney coach Richard Welsh, whose team dropped to 11-3 overall and 5-1 in the league.