No. 1 Douglass cruises into title game, 105-74

Smith, G. Brown total 50 points as 27-0 Ducks race past Chopticon

Boys Class 3A semifinals

High School Basketball

March 08, 2002|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Top-ranked Douglass lived up to its billing as Baltimore's best, most acrobatic boys basketball team in overwhelming Chopticon, 105-74, in a boys state Class 3A semifinal at Cole Field House yesterday.

Ducks coach Rodney Coffield substituted freely and won big in a matchup of undefeated teams. His starters shot 74 percent from the field, hitting 39 of 53 shots, and the Ducks shot 61 percent overall (43-for-70).

Douglass was ready for showtime against its St. Mary's County opponent with an assortment of dunks off its fast break, three-pointers, fundamental layups, behind-the-back and no-look passes, and quick pursuit and defense.

At times, Cole's floor, which often leaves high school teams intimidated, seemed too small for the Ducks.

Tyler Smith and Gerald Brown, who ignite the Ducks' transition game, combined for 50 points. Smith, a senior guard, had a team-high 29 points, six assists and five steals. Brown, a junior forward, scored 21 points to go with 11 rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Douglass (27-0) will meet Prince George's County's Gwynn Park (24-2), also an easy semifinal winner over No. 8 South Carroll, 64-36, in tomorrow's 3 p.m. 3A state title game here.

Since Baltimore City public schools started playing in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association state tournament in 1992-93, the only team from the city and metro area to go 27-0 was Southwestern's 1996-97 team, coached by Terry Leverett.

But Douglass would break that record with a win tomorrow.

"We came out ready to play and stepped it up right at the tip, got that first score and got control," Smith said. "We were focused, had our heads in the game, and used our quickness and rebounding to get it out."

And kick it out they did in scoring 33 first-period points for a 19-point lead. Smith hit his first five shots and two free throws for 14 points. Brown scored 10 of his points in the second period, and Smith added six as the Ducks went 11-for-17 from the field and took a 58-28 lead into halftime.

"They're the quickest team we've seen all year," said Chopticon coach Richard O'Donnell, whose Braves were led by junior Marc Carter's game-high 30 points. "They shoot very well and run the floor very well. We missed some shots early and made some mistakes, and you can't do those things against a team like that."

Things didn't get much better for Chopticon (24-1) in the third period, in which the Ducks outscored the Braves 28-15, with senior forward Darryl Edwards scoring all 10 of his points to put all five starters in double digits.

Douglass started the last eight minutes with dunks by 6-7 senior center Richard Dorsey sandwiching baskets by Smith and junior point guard Dereck Brooks, who went from sixth man to starter a couple week ago and had 13 points, six assists and two steals.

Dorsey finished with 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. With 48 rebounds, the Ducks controlled the boards; Chopticon managed 31.

Coffield unloaded his bench after his team's first eight points in the last period. Senior Rayhue Cox hit the 100-point mark for the Ducks, completing a three-point play with 4:46 remaining to make it 100-52.

"We've had kids working really hard since Nov. 15, and they all deserved to play," Coffield said. "We may need them Saturday, because Gwynn Park is very athletic. It should be a really exciting game."

CHOPTICON -- C. Carter 10, Pease 6, Reeves 3, Estep 11, M. Carter 30, Schlotterbeck 2, Bush 8, Virts 4. Totals: 32 6-11 74.

DOUGLASS -- G. Brown 21, Edwards 10, Dorsey 15, Smith 29, Brooks 13, Miles 4, M. Brown 6, Cox 5, Baglin 2. Totals: 43 11-15 105. Half: 58-28.

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