DuVal brings Ducks to earth in final, 60-58

March 13, 1994|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- It had reached Cole Field House as the unlikeliest of state finalists.

But the improbable run of Douglass (13-10) was ended by a mirror image of sorts yesterday.

DuVal of Prince George's County, a regional sixth seed, won the state 3A championship, edging the No. 18-ranked Ducks, 60-58, at Cole Field House.

Tony Hickman led DuVal with 16 points and Joseph Holmes added 12. Douglass' Alphonso Jones had a game-high 27 points and Robert Smith added 14.

"We were glad to be here," said Douglass coach John Nash. "No one expected us to be here. And we came within two points of going all the way."

It was the second 3A state title in four seasons for DuVal (14-10), which overcame injuries and a sixth-place finish in the Prince George's County 1A-2A-3A League to win the South Region championship.

The Ducks' surprising surge to the state 3A championship game was led by Jones and Smith, who combined to score 226 of Douglass' 339 points in the tournament.

Douglass' biggest victory came in the East Region semifinals on March 3, when it defeated Broadneck, 64-61, at the buzzer in overtime.

With Douglass trailing, 58-56, yesterday, the ball was in Smith's hands with 12 seconds remaining. He drove around the right baseline and put up a 10-foot jumper. It missed and Hickman grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 8.3 seconds left. Hickman converted both free throws for a 60-56 lead. Sam

Womack scored for Douglass with two seconds left, but time had run out for the Ducks.

"The shot wasn't really what I was looking for," said Smith, a 5-foot-5 senior point guard. "I wanted to get inside to our big men, but there was no movement, so I had to take the shot."

Entering the state tournament as No. 5 seed in the East Region, the Ducks won three road games to claim the regional title and defeated Randallstown, 63-47, Thursday to advance to the title game.

With 5:44 left in the game, it had appeared that Douglass' fate was sealed. The Ducks trailed, 51-41, after DuVal had gone on a 16-0 run to take control of the game.

However, Jones' sixth three-pointer of the contest brought Douglass to within 58-54 with 2:04 remaining. Less than a minute later, he was on the bench with his fifth personal foul after a steal attempt.

A jumper by Smith with 51 seconds left closed the margin to 58-56. With 26 seconds left, Marc Jackson missed the front end of a one-and-one for DuVal, but Marcus Johnson got the rebound and was fouled.

Johnson missed the free throw, and Vernon Foster pulled in the rebound for Douglass with 22.1 seconds left and the Ducks immediately called its final timeout to set up a shot to win or tie. But Smith couldn't find the range.

"Our shots just stopped falling for us," said Nash. "We got a little disjointed and we weren't hitting our shots."

A three-pointer by Jones gave the Ducks their biggest lead of the contest at 41-35 with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter. But Douglass would not score again until there was 5:23 left in the game.

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