Douglass coach Rodney Coffield was virtually speechless before last night's Class 2A North region semifinal against visiting Eastern Tech.
"The kids were prepared for Eastern Tech," said Coffield, in his 11th year. "They knew what was at stake, so I didn't have to say too much."
The performance by the Ducks (22-1) spoke volumes in last night's 60-42 rout of the Mavericks (17-6), who were done in by the perimeter shooting of Omar Strong (19 points), who made five three-pointers and single-handedly outscored the visitors 10-2 to start the second quarter. There was a steady contribution from Justin Berry (14 points), and a solid overall effort from James Walker (nine points, seven rebounds, four steals).
The Ducks had won their first 20 games before losing to Lake Clifton, a setback that sent the Lakers into the Baltimore City title game, where they lost to Northwestern.
"Lake Clifton was a tough loss," Berry said. "But better then than now."
On Monday, Northwestern was beaten by Eastern Tech (17-6), which was paced by Mike Sokolis' 21 points. Last night, however, the Ducks defense put the clamps on Sokolis, who scored only three points. The Mavericks were led by 6-foot-9 sophomore Keith Holtman (10 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks) and Brian Anderson, whose nine points were comprised of three pointers.
The Ducks moved into tomorrow night's title game, likely against defending 2A state champ Randallstown, which defeated the Ducks in the 3A North final in 2005. The Ducks, state champs in 2002 and 2004, also were ousted by Milford Mill in last year's 2A North region final.
"We know our past," Walker said. "We know it, and we don't want to repeat it."
No. 12 City 74, Walbrook 70 -- The host Knights (20-4) held off the Warriors (16-6) in double overtime to reach the semifinals of the 3A North region. They will face Mervo for the right to play at Comcast Center at Maryland. City had a two-point lead in regulation, but Howard Matthews hit a jumper with six seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. In overtime, Walbrook struck again, this time Daniel Rowlette made a basket with five seconds remaining to force the second overtime. The Knights made three out of four free throws late to ice the game. Devin Brown scored 20 to lead City and Will Barton added 18. Deonte Stuckey scored 26 to pace Walbrook.
Mervo 36, No. 5 Lake Clifton 35 -- Jamaal Ramsey made a jumper with 14.8 seconds left, his only two points of the game, to put the visiting Mustangs (17-7) ahead by two in overtime over the Lakers (18-4). Sean Far had a chance to win the game. He earlier made one free throw, but later missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Mervo held on to claim the victory. Far scored all of Lake Clifton's points in overtime. The Mustangs were led by Byron Westmoreland who had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Far scored 13 to lead the Lakers.
River Hill 41, Long Reach 37 -- The host Hawks (20-5) went 11-for-12 from the line in the fourth quarter of a come-from-behind victory in Class 3A East semifinals. River Hill trailed the entire game, and by as much as eight points, until taking the lead with two minutes left in the game. Tommy Brenton (11 points) and Leon Eaddy (8) went 4-for-4 and 5-for-6, respectively, from the line in the fourth quarter. River Hill hosts Severna Park in the regional final tomorrow at 7 p.m.
New Town 78, Western Tech 58 -- The host Titans (19-3) - led by Stuart Clarke with 21 and Danny DeSousa with 18 points - took the control in the fourth quarter to beat the Wolverines in the Class 1A North Region semifinals. Greg Collins scored 18 points for the Wolverines. New Town faces Elkton in the regional final tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Dunbar 82, Forest Park 63 -- Tavon Austin scored 20 points to lead the visiting Poets over the Foresters in the 2A North semifinals. Dunbar had five players, including Austin, score in double figures. The Poets took a 33-28 lead into halftime and turned up the offense in the second half.