By Matt Cohen
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase girls basketball team overcame an 11-0 deficit against the 4A West’s number one seed, the Richard Montgomery Rockets, to win the region title. With the win, B-CC advances to the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
Though the Barons certainly weren’t given any favors in in their first final four appearance, as B-CC will face the defending 4A state champion Catonsville Comets. Catonsville is located in the eastern suburbs of Baltimore. I talked to Brent Kennedy, the high school sports coordinator for The Baltimore Sun, to get a preview of what this Comets team brings.
Catonsville is led by 5’10” senior guard Jasmine Dickey. Dickey is one of the most prolific scorers in the state, with over 2,000 points in her career. “Everything,” Kennedy said when asked what makes Dickey so good. “But seriously, her midrange game and in is unreal. She hits that pull up jumper with a hand in her face as well as anyone in the Baltimore area. And she’s lightning fast, a great rebounder for her size … so she grabs the rebound and goes. She’s just an unbelievable competitor.”
Dickey scored 25 points as Catonsville defeated Howard, one of the favorite’s to bring home the title this year, in the region semifinals. Dickey scored 28 points in Catonsville’s dominant 78-42 region final victory over Paint Branch, despite sitting for the final 11:43 of the first half with two fouls.
Dickey is committed to play at Division I Delaware next year. Kennedy said Dickey is his pick for Baltimore player of the year.
In addition to Dickey’s scoring, Catonsville gets great three point shooting from Gabby Douglass. Kennedy said that if Douglass struggles to shoot, Catonsville can become one dimensional.
When asked what the strengths of Catonsville are, Kennedy said, “Their speed, particularly on defense, and their toughness in close games. Having won a state title last year, They don’t get rattled in crunch time.”
If B-CC slows down the game, and keeps Catonsville out of transition, they should be able to find success.
Though the biggest area where B-CC has an advantage is its size. Kennedy said that Catonsville can struggle against a tall team that is methodical on the offensive end. That is exactly what the Barons are. B-CC’s forwards, Caitlyn Clendenin and Stephanie Howell, have been fantastic in the low post all season long, and Charlotte Lowndes has excelled not just in scoring, but in running the offense. If B-CC feeds through its bigs, they could slow down the game, an important key to beating Catonsville.
Catonsville resembles Richard Montgomery quite well. The Rockets are a very quick team that relies on its ability in transition. The press of the Rockets was fantastic all season, and led to run-out after run-out. That’s exactly how the Rockets started in the region final against the Barons. Though through its methodical offense, B-CC was able to gain control in the post, wearing down the Rockets and coming back to win the game. RM lost only two games all year long, both too the Barons.
“If they keep catonsville out of transition and can make it a half court game, yes,” Kennedy said of what it will take to beat Catonsville. “Easier said than done obviously, but they certainly aren’t unbeatable.”
Clendenin and Lowndes have played as well as they ever have during their B-CC careers during this playoff run, and they will certainly be relied upon if B-CC wants to keep its historic playoff run alive.
The Barons and Comets will face off at SECU Arena at Towson University on Thursday, March 8. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 3:00.