Catonsville High’s quest for a second straight Class 4A girls state championship ended with a 60-56 loss to Eleanor Roosevelt in a game on Saturday that featured 54 turnovers and 41 fouls at Towson University’s SECU Arena.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Ashia McCalla scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Raiders (24-3).
Jasmine Dickey (22 points) and Jameila Barrett (20) led the Comets (23-4) and Dickey added a game-high 16 rebounds.
McCalla, who will play at Morgan State next season, made her biggest play midway through the fourth quarter.
With Roosevelt leading 49-47 and the 30-second clock winding down, she buried a 3-pointer from the deep corner.
“I thought McCalla’s deep three from the corner was kind of a dagger,” Catonsville coach Mike Mohler said. “She’s got two people draped on her and the clock is running down and she buries this thing from the corner and it was so clean it almost didn’t hit the net, so that was a big, big, big bucket they made there.”
The shot was not unfamiliar to McCalla.
“When I looked up, I saw five seconds on the shot clock and I saw two people in front of me and I was trying to drive for the basket, but I had no where to go, so I stepped back and I just shot it, and I work on that all the time, so as soon as I let it go I knew it was going in,” she said.
The shot came with 4:08 left in the fourth quarter and were the first points of the quarter for the Raiders, who led 49-43 after three quarters.
It was a shot Roosevelt coach Delton Fuller will not forget.
“The shot that she hit and almost ran into the tunnel and made a three and got up and ran down on defense, that’s one of the toughest shots I’ve seen in the tournament all weekend, so that’s what she does, she makes good plays,” Fuller said.
It was the first of eight straight points for McCalla and started an 8-2 run that expanded the lead to 57-49 with 1:01 left in regulation.
But, the Comets didn’t go quietly.
Barrett converted a 3-point play with 54 seconds left after an offensive rebound, making it 57-52.
She then went to the floor for a loose ball and, while still on the floor, fed Dickey for a layup, making it 57-54 with 40.5 seconds left.
A free throw by Taylor McCormick with 36.1 left made it 58-54, but Dickey’s 15-foot jumper pulled the Comets within two, 58-56, with 9.3 seconds left.
“I can’t lose that confidence because our team is that confident,” Dickey said. “We got to fight until the end and I think that’s exactly what we did.”
McCalla iced the game with two free throws with 8.2 seconds left.
Roosevelt won despite committing 28 turnovers, but the Comets were flagged for 26.
Adding to Catonsville’s woes was a field goal percentage of 26.3 percent (15-for-57).
Roosevelt shot 39.6 percent (21-for-53).
The Comets made just seven field goals in the first half, but they led 14-9 after the first quarter and 30-28 at the half because they hit 13 of 16 free throws.
The lead could have been four, but McCalla made a running one-hander with 1.2 seconds left.
The loss ended the careers of Catonsville four-year varsity players Dickey, Barrett and Stashia Daniels who were a combined 93-14 in those years.
Three-year varsity starter Gabby Douglas is 72-9 in her years running the point.
Dickey, who will play at the University of Delaware next year, faced a box-and-one against Roosevelt and she scored 12 points from the foul line and ended her career with 2,090 points.
“I tell you what, I thought ‘Dickey has got to get tired sooner or later’ and she’s still knocking down free throws, she’s incredible,” Fuller said. “Hats off to Catonsville, their coach did an excellent job, but unfortunately somebody had to lose.”
“It was a great game, but I’m sorry it is an end of an era for these young ladies,” Mohler said. “This is about these young ladies, this is about four years of hard work and determination the last four months and it breaks my heart to see these tears, knowing what they’ve given Catonsville High School, the community and myself personally.”