Romp by Douglass starts with defense


Lake Clifton did not take care of the basketball, and visiting Douglass made the Lakers pay for it last night in Baltimore City boys action.

The No. 6 Ducks' pressure defense set the tempo early while their offense caught up on the way to a 62-51 romp.

Douglass (3-1) forced 15 turnovers in the first half in building a 29-18 lead at the break despite hitting only 10 of 33 shots from the field.

"We started kind of slow, but then, we got Troy [Smith] involved more," said Douglass coach Rodney Coffield.

"We knew we had to play hard to win here [at Lake Clifton]."

The Ducks maintained their 11-point lead through the third period, and pulled away early in the last eight minutes, building their lead to 19. Antione Smithson scored 17 of his game-high 20 points for the Ducks in the second half, 10 in the last period.

Smithson scored the first seven points by the Ducks in the final quarter to lift their lead to 49-33. His three-point play with 2:04 remaining made it 62-43, and in between, Smith scored six of his 17 points while Daijeon Powell dominated the boards.

"We put pressure on the ball, and they made mistakes," said Powell, who finished with a game-high 12 rebounds and seven points.

As well as the Ducks' defense played in the first half, losing coach Herman Harried thought his team played that poorly.

"We played soft, very, very soft," said a clearly annoyed Harried, whose 10th-ranked club slipped to 2-2.

"They [Ducks] outplayed us both physically and mentally. When you play like we did, it creates turnovers. They took our hearts away from us and left us in a bad place."

Led by Brandon Brown's 13 points and 11 points each from Deashd Grade and Ira Garrison, Lake Clifton outshot Douglass from the field 38 percent (21-for-55) to 34 percent (20-for-58), but were 5-for-16 at the line.

"Our pressure defense and our getting up and down the floor faster than they did all night took them out of their game," Smith said.

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