In the second half of yesterday's game against No. 9 Catonsville, Digital Harbor's girls basketball team was certainly "in the zone."
The No. 8 Rams, trailing at the half, switched from man-to-man to a matchup zone, and that defense baffled the previously unbeaten Comets, sparking a 43-32 victory at the 13th annual Basketball Academy at Morgan State's Hill Field House.
The Comets (11-1) took a 22-18 lead into the break, but the Rams' zone held them to one basket over the next 8:30.
"They're big and they're strong and we didn't handle the zone very well," Comets coach Mike Mohler said. "That's the bottom line. We lost focus for about seven minutes, and that was the difference in the game."
Rams coach Patrick McDonald said he went to the zone for two reasons: to stop Shamika Williams from driving and to keep Shelby Polk from shooting three- pointers. While Polk managed a couple of 20-footers, Williams scored all eight of her points in the first half.
Still, Rams junior Asia Logan, who finished with 21 points and 20 rebounds, said it was more than just the zone that sparked her team (9-1).
"We communicated more," the 6-foot forward said. "We weren't talking in the first half, and that affected us. The rest of the game, we were telling each other who's on the ball, who's behind you, and that's when the game changed."
Logan and Nichelle Groom, who finished with 10 points, scored six each in the third-quarter run, and by the 3:35 mark in the fourth, the Rams led 40-27.
No. 3 City 56, Randallstown 47: : The undefeated Knights used a 12-2 spurt to end the first half with a 29-22 lead, but they could not shake the feisty Rams until the end.
Randallstown (6-5) cut City's lead to 50-46 when Kelsie Singleton fed Taylor Burgess with 2:06 left in the game.
But the Knights answered with a couple of free throws and got a put-back from Victoria Mitchell to pull ahead 54-46 with 1:17 to go.
In the second half, the Knights (11-0) used their height advantage, getting 14 points on the inside from Victoria Mitchell, Dominique Dawson and Akilah Sewell. They also out-rebounded the Rams 33-23 in the half.
The biggest problem for the Rams came at the free-throw line, where they missed 14 of 21 shots.
"We usually get a little streaky," said City coach George Petrides, who got 18 points from LaShay Taft, "but I've got to give Randallstown credit. We couldn't put them away. We knew we were going to get the rebounding, and we did."
Mervo 51, Parkville 31:: Behind 19 points from senior forward Marcus Miller, the Mustangs took control in the second quarter and pulled away in the second half to defeat the Knights.
Trailing 15-14 early in the second quarter, Mervo closed out the half on a 14-3 run - five players scoring, capped by a three-point play by Miller - to take a 28-18 lead at the break.
Miller then scored eight in the third quarter to increase the lead to 41-26.
The Mustangs improved to 7-4 this season and, more importantly, answered Tuesday's 56-23 loss to City. "I'm real pleased," Mervo coach Daryl Wade said. "After taking the loss we took on Tuesday against City, they came back and played very hard. With seven sophomores on the team, it's tough to keep them going sometimes, but they did a great job and I'm real proud of them.".
Junior guard Jeff Fields led the Knights (7-5) with nine points.