One year later, the stage is set for a rematch of local boys basketball titans Randallstown and Douglass. Only this time, the roles will be reversed.
A year after advancing to the Class 3A North final as underdogs against Douglass, and ultimately losing to the eventual state champions, the top-ranked Rams will take the court in tomorrow's regional title reprise as favorites after last night's 90-50 dismantling of visiting Fallston.
Just don't tell that to Randallstown coach Kim Rivers.
"They're still the favorites," Rivers said of the sixth-ranked Ducks. "They're still the defending champions. The championship goes through Douglass."
Douglass, the defending 3A state champion, advanced on the other side of the bracket by defeating Dulaney, 85-54. The teams will meet at Douglass, at 5 p.m., for the right to advance to College Park for the state semifinals.
For the Rams, last night's game was a mere appetizer.
"There's three games this week, so I want my players to have as much rest as they can," Rivers said. "We didn't have to exert a whole lot of energy, and that was good for us."
Led by All-Metro guard Levi Stukes (26 points), who scored the game's first eight points, the Rams (21-1) used a smothering full-court press to force turnovers on seven of Fallston's first eight possessions.
By midway through the second quarter, the Rams led 39-8, compiling a highlight reel of ally-oops and dunks along the way.
"We came out, and we were shell-shocked," said Fallston coach Matt Jergensen, whose team committed 38 turnovers. "They brought a lot of pressure, and it pretty much came down to the fact that we were just not able to handle it."
Jahmel Raymond added 16 and Terrance Breaux 13 for the Rams, who have suffered their only loss this season to Dunbar. Phil Vomadore scored 22 for the Cougars (17-6), who were playing without starting center Matt Kennedy (broken right wrist).
Now, the Rams' attention turns to Douglass, a team that defeated them, 81-71, in last year's regional final.
Before that game, Stukes publicly guaranteed that the Rams not only would win but also would score 100 points. The next day, blown-up copies of the quote were plastered around Douglass.
This time around, Rivers has kept his players off limits to the media, hoping to deny Douglass any more ammunition.
"I'm just looking forward to Friday's game," Rivers said. "We've got to play our game - play hard, play smart and play together. That's what we've been doing all year. If we play together, there's not too many teams that are going to stop us."