Ducks earn top billing

March 06, 1994|By John Harris III | John Harris III,Contributing Writer

"Quack! Quack! The Ducks are back!!"

This spirited spontaneous chant was heard moments after fifth-seeded Douglass held off third-seeded Poly, 75-71, in last // night's 3A East Region finals.

The victory earned the Ducks a trip to this week's state semifinals at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House.

In garnering one of the biggest wins in school history, the Ducks (12-9) weathered a furious last-minute comeback by the host Engineers (17-7).

Poly fought its way back from a 12-point deficit at the 3:00 mark to get within two with 12 seconds left in the game.

John McClean (team-high 22 points) sank two of three free throws after being fouled by Gil Rogers outside the three-point line to close the lead to 73-71.

But Rogers and and Vernon Foster hit crucial front ends of one-and-ones in the game's final 10 seconds to ice the victory.

"This was one of the biggest wins for us in quite some time," said Douglass coach John Nash.

"I'm really glad for my kids, but I'm extremely proud for Douglass High. We've been going through some tough times through the school year, and this win is a very positive thing for the school and the community."

Freshman guard Al Jones led the Ducks with 26 points, including 13 in the third quarter.

The 5-foot-8 sharpshooter nailed four consecutive three-pointers during the period, helping his squad take a 57-47 into the final quarter.

Jones' 5-2 backcourt mate Robert Smith contributed 15 points.

Down 16-13 at the end of the first period, Douglass outscored the hosts 20-9 during the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second period to take a 33-25 lead. Jones tallied eight points during the spurt, and Smith and Roberts added four points each.

Brian Scott (11 points) hit a three-pointer from the top of the key, Clinton Young (17 points) hit three foul shots and a basket from Brad Thomas helped the Engineers close to within 35-33 at intermission.

Said Nash, "We didn't hit a lot of our free throws at the end, but we made them when they really counted. We beat a very good team tonight.

"We split during the regular season, and tonight was the rubber match. It's been an uphill battle for us all year long, and we've been taking things one game at a time. I'm just as happy as I can be."

David Green (game-high 14 rebounds) and Thomas had eight points each for Poly.

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