Two teams seeking its first victory in girls basketball met at Catonsville High Wednesday night and defensive intensity, turnovers and fouls took center court, and in the end, No. 8 Catonsville (1-1) emerged victorious over Dulaney (0-4), 63-45.
The Comets were led by Ashley Dickey (15 points), Maddi McLean (14) and Aysia Ferguson (12), while Dulaney got double figures from Riley McWilliams (14) and Samantha White (13).
“Our intensity was good and their little number 14 (White) did a really nice job splitting us, we’ve got to work on that,” Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said. “Hopefully, we will get better every game, but I don’t know how many turnovers we had, but it’s a bunch.”
Catonsville, which lost its opener to St Paul’s, 60-40, came out with defensive intensity early and they forced 19 Dulaney turnovers in the first half.
“Coach Mike in practice, he emphasizes a lot on defense, defense, defense because our defense gets our offense going,” said Ferguson, who scored six points in the first quarter and had six steals in the first half. “Once our defense kicks in, we just feel really confident on the offensive side. That’s how we get our fast breaks and easy shots.”
Dulaney stayed in the game in the first quarter and only trailed 19-15 at the break, thanks to six points from White, a pair of three-pointers by McWilliams and a trey from Tess Valentino.
But freshman Dickey, the younger sister of Jasmine Dickey (Delaware University), sparked a balanced offense with seven points and aggressive defense, along with Gabby Douglas (six steals) in the first half.
McLean and Ferguson added six point in the opening half and Princess Lawson contributed five off the bench and the Comets built a 33-20 lead at intermission.
Besides the turnovers, Dulaney was hampered by five consecutive misses from the foul line in the second quarter.
“Honestly, we’ve struggled with free throws all year,” said Dulaney coach Jessica Szymanski, noting that hurt in losses by three, four and three points in the Lions first three games. “Tonight, we did not shoot well from the line.”
In the third quarter, Dickey hit a pair of three-pointers and Catonsville extended its lead to 53-36 when she converted a steal into a layup with 3:50 left in the game.
Dulaney chipped away from the foul line and cut the deficit to 11, 55-44, with 1:49 remaining, but the Comets iced the game with a jumper by Ferguson and putback by McLean.
Despite the victory, Mohler did not appreciate Dulaney going to the line 29 times, although they only made 13.
“It’s always nice to win,” said Mohler , whose squad was playing without starter Sophi Wrisk, who was ill. “It’s better to win ugly then lose ugly.
We can’t make the goofy foul because we are reaching. We are getting everybody in foul trouble.”
On the other side, Szymanski sees brighter nights ahead.
“We are coming in kind of young and it’s definitely a learning experience for us, but I truly believe that the way that we start is not the way we are going to finish and these games will help us for sure,” she said.
Ashley Dickey 15, Maddi McLean 14, Aysia Ferguson 12, Princess Lawson 9, Larrie Sydnor 6, Gabby Douglas 3, Rianna Sanders 2, Alex Green 2.
Riley McWilliams 14, Samantha White 12, Annie Lodge 8, Julia Whatley 6, Tess Valentino 3, Mackenzie Erhardt 2.