Rams win despite struggles at line

The Baltimore Sun

Randallstown struggled at the foul line in the final quarter, but Douglass, hindered by turnovers, failed to capitalize and the No. 4 Rams survived, 43-37, in the 12th annual Basketball Academy at Morgan State last night.

The Rams prevailed in one of the metro area's fiercest rivalries despite Omar Strong's game-high 23 points, including six three-pointers.

Alexander Jackson, Derek Fickling and Tione Womack led the Rams. Jackson had team highs with 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Fickling had seven points and 10 rebounds. Womack added eight points and six assists.

The Rams (8-2) hit only eight of 17 free throws in the last eight minutes and finished 12 of 25.

The Ducks (7-4) had 19 turnovers.

"No, we didn't take advantage and committed too many turnovers, like six in that last quarter," Douglass coach Rodney Coffield said. " ... You can't turn the ball over like that in a rivalry like this and expect to win."

It was the second time the teams played in the Basketball Academy, and Randallstown has won both games. But that's not where the rivalry's real mystique is. Randallstown has won three straight state championships for Baltimore County and in each case advanced to the final four with a victory over Douglass.

"We played well enough to get the 'W' tonight, but I really don't look forward to seeing them again," Rams coach Kim Rivers said. "It's hard to beat a team twice."

Randallstown came back last night after falling behind 12-4 late in the first quarter to take a 19-18 lead at intermission, and the Rams took a 29-27 lead into the final minutes. Although the Rams were missing their free throws, the Ducks hit only two of 10 shots from the field down the stretch and 11 of 43 for the game.

"Overall, we did a good job on Omar, because every bucket he got, he had to work for," Jackson said. "We stayed patient against their zone they ran the whole game. It's an intense rivalry, and we kept our heads cool."


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