Catonsville's Shamika Williams is as adept at heaving a full-court pass to a teammate who has gotten behind the opponent's defense as she is at driving through a crowded lane for a layup.
Williams' versatility was the difference in the ninth-ranked Comets' 53-28 victory over Dunbar yesterday in the 22nd annual Holly & Hoops Holiday Tournament at Mount de Sales. Williams scored a game-high 15 points with 10 rebounds and five steals to help the surging Comets improve to 6-0.
"We stepped it up and calmed down a little bit," said Williams, who has committed to UMBC. "I want to make sure everybody knows what to do."
Williams broke open the game with six points, an assist, a block and a steal in the decisive third quarter, when Catonsville outscored the Poets 18-3.
A pair of free throws by Rachel Schwab gave the Comets a 46-24 lead with 5:11 remaining, and Catonsville could look ahead to tomorrow's game against Bethlehem Catholic of Pennsylvania.
Maya Torain and Shelby Polk each added 11 points for Catonsville.
"It's just a matter of us getting it going and getting that first half out of the way," Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said. "Shamika has made me look like a very good coach over her four years. You don't coach the stuff that she does."
The teams traded baskets throughout the opening quarter. A layup by Candace McCray started with a near-full-court pass by Williams to Polk and gave the Comets a 13-8 lead going into the second quarter.
The Comets stayed on top throughout the second quarter, and back-to-back baskets by Williams with four minutes left helped Catonsville hold a 23-16 lead at the half.
Michelle Wright led Dunbar (4-3) with 13 points.
NO. 2 ARUNDEL 66, BLAKE 51: : The Wildcats, led by Sheronne Vails' 15 points, defeated the Bengal Tigers (2-6) at the IAABO Tournament in Springdale. Arundel (4-3) outscored Blake 19-9 in the third quarter.
Blake's Danielle Douglas finished with a game-high 16 points.
NO. 3 WESTERN 53, THOMAS JEFFERSON (N.Y.) 33: : Ashle Craig scored 12 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Doves (4-4) upset the Hawks (4-1), ninth in USA Today's East regional rankings, at the Big Apple Tournament in New York.
Western led by one going into the fourth quarter before outscoring Thomas Jefferson 28-11. Keirah Hicks had 15 points and seven assists for Western, which faces North Babylon (N.Y.) at 5 p.m. tomorrow.
NO. 8 DIGITAL HARBOR (Pa.) 74, PEABODY 29: : Tiana Mitchell and Asia Logan each scored 18 points to lift the Rams (4-1) past the Highlanders in the first round of the Westinghouse Christmas Tournament in Pittsburgh. Digital Harbor faces the winner of Westinghouse-Tiverlly in tomorrow's final at 4 p.m.
NO. 1 ST. FRANCES 58, EVERGLADES (FLA.) 43: : Terrell Vinson scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Panthers (8-1) past the Gators in the Fort Lauderdale Christmas Tournament. St. Frances advanced to Tuesday's final.
NO. 3 CALVERT HALL 69, NEW ROCHELLE (N.Y.) 64: : John Graham (12 points) went 3-for-4 from the foul line in the fourth quarter to lift the Cardinals (9-2) over the Hugenots (4-2) in the opening round of the Benedictine Tournament in Richmond, Va. Calvert Hall will face the winner of Herndon-Millgodwin at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow.
NO. 4 WALBROOK 57, FRIENDSHIP ACADEMY (D.C.) 56: : Stewart Clark (20 points) made a jump shot at the buzzer, but the Knights fell short to the Warriors (7-1) in the National High School Coaches Association Basketball Festival in Wicomico.
Roscoe Smith scored 22 points for Walbrook.
NO. 7 JOHN CARROLL 57, FORT DORCHESTER (S.C.) 55: : The Patriots (9-3) led by five in the last minute and held off a rally by Fort Dorchester in the opening round of the Rotary Roundball Classic in South Carolina.
Isaiah Philmore scored 23 to lead John Carroll, which faces Pinewood Prep (S.C.) at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
Baltimore Sun reporters contributed to this article.