Tightly contested through the first three quarters, the Douglass boys basketball team finally got some separation aganst Ben Franklin in the final frame of Wednesday’s Baltimore City Division II title game.
The Ducks clamped down on defense and attacked the basket with an 8-0 run midway through the fourth providing the key for a 54-41 win over the Bayhawks at Coppin State.
Damontze Davis scored a game-high 17 points and Malik Holloway finished with nine points and seven rebounds as Douglass (19-1) avenged its only loss of the season to claim the title. It was the program’s first championship of any kind since the Ducks won the Class 3A state title in 2004.
Ben Franklin (15-6), which came into the game as defending champions, got 11 points from Anthony Coffey in the loss.
Trailing 37-36 early in the fourth, the Ducks got baskets from Davis and Laquanta Atkins before Del-jonte Moore converted a three-point play to push the lead to 43-37. On defense, they limited the Bayhawks to just two field goals in the quarter.
“We knew we had it, we stayed together and defense wins championships," Davis said. "We played for our school. Everybody put us down, said we were nothing but we showed them. We played for our school and each other -- we’re family.”
After Ben Franklin took a 13-9 lead after the first quarter, the Ducks got a strong second frame from Davis to climb back for a 25-23 halftime advantage. Davis hit two 3 pointers in the quarter and then converted a three-point play in the final minute to end the first half scoring.
The teams split their two games in the regular season. After Douglass earned a 66-63 home win on Jan. 8, the Bayhawks avenged the setback with a 63-59 win on Feb. 5 to end the Ducks’ 13 game win streak.