On senior night at Catonsville High, it was junior Jalen Jones who stole the spotlight by hitting seven three-pointers and scoring a game-high 21 points to lead the Comets (10-7) to a 67-54 victory over Chesapeake (4-9), of Baltimore County.
Senior Shawn Wagstaff added 16 for the Comets.
Jones came off the bench in the second quarter and canned five three-pointers during a 16-0 run that turned a 17-12 first-quarter deficit into a 28-17 lead.
“I was feeling it before the game,” Jones said. “I was telling my teammates before the game even started, ‘Swing me the ball, I’m not missing, because in warm-ups I wasn’t missing my shots,’ ” Jones said.
Catonsville junior Tiree Holmes had all seven of his points in the first quarter, but Chesapeake got two three-pointers from Kevin Solomon and four other players scored in the quarter.
But, the Bayhawks were held scoreless for the first 4:35 of the second quarter.
A free throw by Jamel Brown broke the scoring drought and two-three pointers by Lakeeb Hughes closed the gap to 28-24 with 1:51 left in the half.
A three-pointer by Jones with 1:13 left and two free throws by Kelvin Spruill pushed Catonsville’s advantage to 33-24 at intermission.
Chesapeake battled back and tied the game at 40-40 with 43 seconds left in the third quarter on a three-pointer by Vernon Toney.
But the Comets closed the quarter with a pair of free throws by senior Amori Guadeloupe (10 points) and a basket by Caleb Owens (5 points) for a 44-40 lead.
When Chesapeake pulled within two, 47-45, Guadeloupe scored on a drive to make it 49-45 with 5:26 left in the game.
“Amori helps us out because he can handle the ball very well and when he plays his role very well the team responds to him,” Catonsville coach Teron Owens said.
Jones extended the lead to 52-45 with a three-pointer with 5:16 left and he added another from NBA range to seal the deal and give the Comets an 11-point lead with 4:09 left.
Owens had no problem watching Jones drain the treys from everywhere.
“He helps the guys out. When Jalen is hitting the shots, it really opens the floor up for Amori and Shawn to get to the basket, so he has to play his part and shooting the ball is part of his game,” said Owens, noting he made eight three-pointers in a 75-54 win over Kenwood. “I give him the green light.”
Chesapeake made eight three-pointers and were led in scoring by Toney (13 points) and Hughes (12), but they ran out of gas in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve been close all year, but we’re losing games in the fourth quarter, which is basically a sign of out of shape and fatigue,” Chesapeake coach Kevin Solomon Sr. said.
The coach was also upset with a defense that had held Randallstown to 36 points in a 36-32 loss and Kenwood to 46, before losing in overtime.
“This may have been our worst defensive game of the year,” Solomon Sr. said. “We pride ourselves on defense.”
Wagstaff may have been a reason the Bayhawks defense suffered because he hit two three- pointers, to go along with three steals, a rebound and assist in the fourth quarter.
“He’s our leader,” Owens said. “He’s our engine that could. When he is running, we run with him. He pushes our team to the next level.”
Mark Chambers was the third of four seniors who started the game and he finished with four points.
“Chambers is awesome because he can go outside and he can go inside, so he plays more than one position,” Owens said.
Senior James Davis, the smallest player on the team at 5-feet, 7 inches, was the fourth senior honored before the game.
He scored the final two points of the game after a drive to the basket.
“He’s my heart,” Owens said. “He’s one of the kids that came on the team and I told him I want you to be a part of it. Because he rose to the occasion in practice, he got some time on the court.”
Senior basketball managers Kyle Ryan, Jennae James, Myles Byrd and Lynnea Eichelberger were honored before the game along with the players and Owens praised all eight of them.
“They worked hard and they’ve done everything we’ve asked them to do and I believe we put them in the place to be successful and that’s the goal,” Owens said.