Tremendous trio sparks Digital Harbor

boys basketball state class 1a final

Usher and Jackson brothers lead Rams over Pocomoke, 75-60, for 1st championship

March 15, 2009|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,glenn.graham@baltsun.com

COLLEGE PARK -Digital Harbor junior guard Justin Jackson best summed up the No. 6 Rams' Class 1A state championship win over pesky Pocomoke with a quick look to his right and another to his left before smiling and adding some fitting words.

The first look went to teammate Davon Usher, and then he glanced over to his brother, George, and said: "Davon took over the first half, and he [George] took over the second. ... They both looked like Michael Jordan out there."

Usher, a junior forward, scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first half to help the Rams take a 16-point halftime lead. After the Warriors from Worcester County rallied to cut the lead to three early in the fourth quarter, George Jackson, a senior guard, took over with relentless drives to the basket that produced 11 of his 20 points.

With Justin Jackson adding 16, the result was a 75-60 win that gave Digital Harbor (23-5) its first state championship.

"For the school, for Digital Harbor, it means a lot. It's big, a big accomplishment," Rams coach Johnnie Grimes said.

As in their 64-45 win over Allegany in Friday's semifinal, the Rams came out fast yesterday with hassling defense, good ball movement and hot shooting.

They scored on their first six possessions - Usher hitting consecutive three-pointers on the first two - and had a 22-9 lead after one quarter that they extended to a 40-24 halftime advantage.

The Warriors (25-2) weren't fazed, opening the third quarter with a 13-2 run that helped them eventually pull within 50-47 with 6:35 left in the game.

That's when George Jackson made it a point to get to the basket.

He scored nine points - all drives to the hoop - and had an assist in a 14-2 run that pushed the lead to 64-49, and, on the biggest stage, the Rams answered the challenge.

"I felt as though it was my job to take over in the fourth quarter because they started coming back and we had to take on that spurt - it was a big spurt," George Jackson said.

"In the third quarter, I was getting to the rack but I wasn't finishing. In the fourth quarter, I told my big guys when I cut through the lane, cut with me and I'm going to find [you]. I was just slashing through and getting layups and dishing, and it really helped us."

Senior guard Kevin Davis also had 10 points and eight rebounds in the win.

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