Although he was playing with a wrist injury, four fouls and on tired legs, Douglass forward Darryl Clarke, nevertheless, summoned the courage to put the finishing touches on his best effort of the season in the Ducks' most critical game so far.
After taking an inbounds pass near his team bench, the 6-foot-4 senior drove past several defenders to convert the game-winning layup while off-balance and in traffic.
His effort, with 11 seconds left in overtime, lifted the 10th-ranked Ducks to a 56-55 upset of visiting top-ranked Southern in a key Baltimore City League Division I contest.
"I wanted the ball because I felt like there was a mismatch between me and their big guy, and I knew I could take it to the rack," said Clarke, who finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds, four blocks and three assists in a victory that avenges a 75-63 loss to the Bulldogs (14-1, 4-1) in a holiday tournament.
Jermaine Bolden contributed 17 points and seven rebounds and assists in the win, which gives Douglass (11-3, 3-1) the inside track to the conference crown and a berth in the city title game against the winner of Division II.
"They beat us earlier," said Clarke, who scored 10 points in the first non-league meeting with Southern. "But this is the one that sends us to the city championship."
Jerrell Green (16 points), DeShawn Williams (12) and Trannie Hayes (10) led Southern, which led 15-11 after the first quarter, in which Clarke did not score.
But Clarke exploded for 12 of his team's 18 points in the second quarter to keep the Ducks within 33-29 at the half.
Clarke's three-pointer gave the Ducks a 34-33 lead early in the third quarter. The game was tied three times after that before Douglass took a 43-41 advantage into the fourth.
Clarke tied the game at 54 on a put-back with 21 seconds left in regulation, and the score remained that way heading into the extra session.
"We knew it would be a hard-fought game, and it could have gone either way," said Douglass coach Rodney Coffield, who resisted removing Clarke after he picked up his fourth foul with four minutes left in regulation.
"His wrist was hurting him, and he was tired, but I felt like he was in the flow of the game," Coffield said. "So I thought it was best to take the chance that he play it through."
Southern coach Mike Wise pointed to a fourth-quarter technical foul call and a backcourt violation in overtime against his players as "changing the game's momentum."
The Bulldogs must win out in the division and hope that Douglass gets tripped up in one of its final three division contests - one of which is against No. 7 Walbrook.
"It's just one game," Wise said. "We have to come back from it."