Southern finally gains top of North hill, 85-75

Bulldogs' frustrations end with victory over Douglass

Boys 4A regional final

High School

March 04, 2000|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Southern-Baltimore coach Meredith Smith described his team's failure the previous two seasons to capture the 4A North Region championship as an "iron wall."

Last night at Poly, the No. 2 Bulldogs finally overcame that obstacle, defeating No. 4 Douglass, 85-75, to win the region crown.

The junior pair of Darshawn Luckey and Melvin Scott led Southern, scoring 31 and 26 points, respectively. Dontae Truitt led Douglass (17-5) with 24 and Davon Collier added 19.

This Thursday at 9 p.m. at Cole Field House, Southern will play the 4A South Region winner, either two-time state 4A runner-up Oxon Hill or Eleanor Roosevelt, both of Prince George's County, in a state semifinal contest.

Eleanor Roosevelt and Oxon Hill, ranked third and fourth, respectively, in the Washington area, play tonight for the South title.

The Bulldogs, who won three state titles in the first four seasons after city public schools were included in the state playoffs, were upset by eventual state 4A champ Lake Clifton in the region final last season. The year before, Mervo ended Southern's season in the region's semifinal round.

"I guess we finally got a monkey off our back," said Smith, whose team improved to 19-5.

"We were able to stay focused just enough to maintain control of the game."

The Bulldogs, city champions and the region's No. 1 seed, eased away from the second-seeded Ducks in the final period after Douglass had pulled to 53-50.

The Ducks were down 62-57 when foul problems started to mount and Southern buried six straight free throws to build an 11-point margin.

After a three-pointer by Raymond Dickens got Douglass to within 70-62, Luckey connected on two free throws, then Scott went up high to put in a pass from Keon Johnson (14 points, seven assists) for 74-62 with 2: 45 remaining in the game.

"We had a lot of turnovers, but we kept our poise," said Luckey, a 6-foot-3 junior small forward. "We were able to get looks in their zone."

The Bulldogs won the first meeting, 74-59, in December. Heading into last night's rematch, Douglass wanted to keep Scott and Luckey from doing damage from the three-point line.

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