Baglin, Douglass on mark, 60-55

No. 11 Ducks take region over No. 14 Randallstown

Class 3A North boys basketball

High Schools

March 07, 2004|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Around the halls of Douglass High, junior Anthony Baglin is known as "Honey," a reference to his sweet jump shot.

Yesterday in the Class 3A North regional boys basketball final, the guard's accurate shooting helped sour No. 14 Randallstown's playoff plans.

Baglin scored a game-high 21 points, including two key jumpers late in the game, as No. 11 Douglass survived an unfavorably slow tempo to hold off the host Rams, 60-55.

"I told my team, `It takes a big heart to win championships,' " Baglin said. "We couldn't play as aggressive as we know we can play, because [the referees] kept calling the reach-ins and hand checks, so we just tried to just flat-out beat them."

The Ducks (21-5) advanced to the 3A state semifinals, where they will face West regional winner Linganore of Frederick County at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Comcast Center in College Park.

It will mark Douglass' second trip to the states in three years. The Ducks captured their only title in 2002.

To make it back, Douglass first had to survive a starkly different game than its 77-45 victory over Randallstown in December at Morgan State.

"There, we were able to spread the court out a little bit, and it worked to our advantage," said Douglass coach Rodney Coffield. "Here, they packed it in on us and we couldn't get inside like we wanted. We had to settle for jump shots."

Douglass shot just 37 percent from the field, including 7-for-19 from three-point range.

Meanwhile, defending regional champion Randallstown (20-6) kept pace with strong rebounding, particularly at the offensive end. Paced by forward Louis Birdsong (12 points) and guard Dominic Venable (10), the Rams rallied from a five-point deficit to build a 33-28 lead on Caray Sanders' driving layup midway through the third quarter.

"We should have won the game," Rams coach Kim Rivers said. "Our foul shooting and some key turnovers at the end of the game cost us."

The Rams hit just three of 12 foul shots over the first three quarters and finished 13-for-23.

Trailing 40-39, the Ducks scored seven straight points, including a 10-foot jumper and three-pointer by Baglin. The Ducks then sealed the win at the foul line.

Though 19-for-36 from the line, they hit all six of their foul shots -- including four straight by forward Tre Love -- in the final 16 seconds.

Guard Jermaine Bolden had 17 points and six rebounds for Douglass, and guard Troy Smith added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists.

"We knew we had to be patient," Coffield said. "We knew that eventually a couple shots that we took in the first half might go in the second half."

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