Prilliman rescues Douglass

January 21, 1995|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

A year ago, Douglass forward Lamar Prilliman wasn't even playing high school basketball.

Now, the 6-foot-2 senior has become the key element in the Ducks' rise to prominence in the Baltimore City 2A-3A League.

Yesterday, visiting Poly found out firsthand what Prilliman means to his team, as he scored 29 points -- including a key three-pointer with 45 seconds left -- to propel Douglass to a 70-67 victory.

The win moved the Ducks (6-2 overall, 5-2 league) past the Engineers into sole possession of second place in the league behind Dunbar.

To get there, however, they had to overcome a seven-point deficit with 2:44 left.

After getting whistled for a personal foul and two technicals on one play, Douglass -- which had traded the lead with Poly 17 times until that point -- found itself down, 62-55, after the Engineers hit four of six foul shots.

But that's when the Ducks, and Prilliman, went to work.

"Most of the kids on the floor decided this was it," said Douglass coach John Nash. "They turned it up to the highest level they could get."

First, Prilliman hit two foul shots, and -- after the first of three consecutive steals -- Charles Harris followed with an acrobatic layup to cut the lead to three.

After Douglass briefly took the lead, Poly's Justin Robinson took it back at 65-64 with a three-pointer.

But moments later, Prilliman answered with a three-pointer with 45 seconds left to give the Ducks the lead for good. After he added a foul shot to make it a three-point lead with 17 seconds left, Poly (8-6, 4-2) missed its chance to force overtime when John McLean (23 points) misfired on two three-point attempts in the final 10 seconds.

For Douglass, three minutes of all-or-nothing basketball paid big dividends.

"I knew going in that we couldn't take them for granted, but early in the game we did," said Prilliman, who didn't score his first point until 1:10 into the second quarter. "We said, 'Never mind the first three quarters. We've just got to play hard the last eight minutes.'

"My team really came through on the press. Everybody played hard until the end."

Prilliman, who entered the game averaging more than 25 points after racking up 36 Wednesday against Dunbar, hit five three-pointers for the game, including three in the final seven minutes.

But what hurt Poly just as much were turnovers. After committing just five in the first half, the Engineers committed 15 turnovers in the second half, including eight in the fourth quarter.

After losing heartbreakers this season to Forest Park, Patterson and Southwestern, Poly coach Bucky Kimmett said his team needs to learn to take better care of the ball late in the game.

"I felt pretty good [after the technicals]," said Kimmett. "I knew they'd come and foul us, but I didn't think they'd steal the ball two or three times in a row."

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