It was a battle of the unbeatens. On one bench was Frederick Douglass High School with a 26-0 record in the perennially tough Baltimore City League. On the other side of the scorers table was Chopticon High and their 24-0 mark against St. Mary's County competition - at the southern tip of Maryland Chesapeake Bay western shore. Douglass had shown its stuff against known and talented teams; Chopticon was an unknown.
No David and Goliath story in the second semifinal of the Maryland State 3A tournament Thursday at Cole Field House on the University of Maryland's campus. The answer was what most predicted, an easy (105-74) victory for the Mighty Ducks that really wasn't as close as that score as Douglass saw all five starters in double figures.
Douglass scored the first ten points of the game before junior Marc (T.J.) Carter hit a three with 5:27 on the first period clock. Then Douglass got a run together as they took a 33-14 lead including a towering dunk by big man Richard Dorsey as time expired in the opening quarter.
The second quarter saw little difference. Douglass' size and athleticism overwhelmed the Braves, with one exchange looking more like a volleyball game on Douglass' offensive board. The tally at the half -- 58-28. At the end of the third, Douglass had doubled Chopticon at 86-43.
Early in the fourth period, Douglass' starters took the bench for good. Chopticon had a better match with the Mighty Ducks subs as they outscored Douglass 31-19 to bring the final down to 105-74.
Douglass was led by senior combo guard Tyler Smith's 29 points as he hit 64.8 percent of his shots (11-17). This wasn't an unusual game for Smith - he was averaging 28.2 points going into Thursday's contest. Junior swingman Gerald Brown added 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds while Dorsey contributed 15 points along with a game high 12 rebounds. Junior point guard Dereck Brooks hit for 13 points and dished out a game-high six assists. The fifth starter, senior Darryl Edwards, added 10 points.
Chopticon was led by junior guard T.J. Carter with a game-high 30 points on 60 percent shooting (12-20). M.J. Estep, who is signed with Connecticut for football, added 11 points and tied Brooks with six dished. Sophomore Charles Carter (no relation to T.J.) scored 10 points and pulled down 11 boards.
The good news for Chopticon, beside an excellent regular season, is that all starters except Estep will be back.