Douglass captures city title with ease

Top-ranked Ducks rout Dunbar, 97-83

High School

February 21, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Awesome.

In a word that described the performance of the high-flying Douglass boys basketball team yesterday in humbling host Dunbar, 97-83, to claim the Baltimore City championship before a standing-room-only crowd.

It was Douglass' first city crown since the 1997-98 season and it comes during the first undefeated regular season in school history.

The Ducks (23-0) left no doubt as to who is the No. 1 team in the metro area in posting their second straight victory within eight days at Dunbar.

The city rotates the site of the city final by division winners. Douglass was Division II winner, but it was Division I's turn to play host, which was Dunbar.

Last week, the Ducks brought their dazzling show and enthusiastic fans to No. 5 Dunbar (17-5) and left with an 87-72 victory.

Dunbar coach Eric "Smiley" Lee said his team's play yesterday was "probably one of the lowest days in Dunbar history."

The dejected Lee said along with several Poets old-timers that the 97 points is likely the most the school has ever allowed at home.

Coming off last week's win at Dunbar - the Ducks' first ever there - they made a huge statement in the first quarter by outscoring Dunbar 30-11. Senior guard Tyler Smith and junior Gerald Brown, who scored 32 and 25 points, respectively, combined for 22 points in the opening period to stun the Poets.

"We had to come out the same way we did last week or otherwise we could have given Dunbar a little momentum," said Douglass coach Rodney Coffield.

" ... We came right out ready to play. Everybody is shooting for us because we're No. 1 and it's tough to get 'em up every game. But we told them this is the second season, and they kind of work themselves up and get hyped for every game."

Smith, who had eight assists and four steals, said the Ducks were focused from the opening tip.

"Yeah, we put them away early," Smith said. "The first quarter was a big difference in the game. We have a lot of fun playing and try our best to stay together."

Besides the sharpshooting of Smith and Brown in that decisive first quarter, the Ducks also got a dominating effort in the paint from 6-foot-8 senior center Richard Dorsey.

Dorsey had a two-handed backboard-shaking dunk that he said afterward "sent a message to them." More importantly, he blocked five Poets shots in the first eight minutes. The shots he didn't put back in their faces, he altered, and he finished with game highs of eight blocks and 14 rebounds.

"Our defense doesn't get the credit it deserves because of the things we do on offense," Smith said.

"We spent a lot of time working on our defense after that first game, but we let Douglass run up and down the court on us all game," said Lee, whose Poets found themselves trailing 52-25 at the half after the Ducks' Rayhue Cox hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Things didn't get better for the Poets in the third quarter, even though they showed some offense as Durrell York scored eight of his team's 19 points in the quarter. Still, the Poets were down 73-44 going into the fourth.

Maurice Barksdale, who led Dunbar with 21 points, followed by Jujuan Robinson's 16, tossed in a dozen points in the final moments of what was a wild quarter that was strictly offensive.

Darryl Edwards joined Smith and Brown in double figures for the Ducks with 13 points.

Derek Toney contributed to this article.

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