By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, March 14, 2009
It was a one-point game in the middle of the third quarter when an opponent tried to save the ball from going out of bounds by hurling it off Kavon Glover. The Douglass freshman forward, however, stymied the playground move by catching the ball, dribbling along the left baseline toward the basket, then stunning virtually everyone with what came next.
The 6-foot-4 Glover leapt in the air and, while being fouled, threw down his first-ever dunk in a high school game. Propelled by the three-point play, Douglass continued the Washington area's most surprising postseason run by pulling away for an 87-69 victory over Wicomico in a Maryland 2A semifinal last night before 1,500 at Comcast Center.
"I was thinking about making a layup, but I was working hard in practice and Coach [Tyrone Massenburg] showed me how to come over the rim more," said the 15-year-old Glover, flashing a toothy and braces-filled smile. "I've tried to work on dunking. [But] I was thinking, 'Pass it to the open man.' "
The Eagles will play City College of Baltimore (20-6) at 6 tonight in the state final at Comcast Center.
Said Massenburg: "He got caught up in the moment and made a big play. It was a changing point for the team. It might be the changing point for him. He had dunked probably once or twice in the gym, but never in practice when we scrimmage. He has the ability. He's long and has the length. Sometimes it just takes one play to see that you can do it."
It was a good thing there was a foul called on the play. Teammate Justin Mays was so shocked he said he forgot to try to get back on defense.
"I've never seen that out of him before," Mays said, even as he noted that Glover always is challenging teammates to post-practice dunk contests. "I couldn't even picture him doing that."
After Glover's impressive move gave Douglass a 46-42 lead, the Eagles (15-11) quickly took control, finishing the third quarter with a 20-6 run. Sophomore guard Timmone Whatley, who finished with 20 points, capped the quarter by going coast-to-coast for a layup, then blew past a defender for another layup that made it 66-48 entering the fourth quarter.
"It was just amazing," Whatley said of Glover. "We were so hyped after that play. We played off that dunk."
Douglass had lost six consecutive games late in the season and entered the playoffs with a losing record. After four consecutive close road victories in the regional playoffs, however, the Eagles are one victory from the Upper Marlboro school's first state title since 1966.
"Nothing has been easy for us," Massenburg said. "We've been playing hard, been through a lot of ups and downs. But whenever we get in tough times and a team makes a run on us, we don't panic. The kids have been playing like seasoned vets, even though this is a new experience for them. I'm proud of their effort."
Davon Gale scored 32 points for Wicomico (16-10), which finished with 30 turnovers.
Douglass 87, Wicomico 69 Up Next: Douglass advanced to tonight's Maryland 2A final at 6 at Comcast Center against City College of Baltimore (20-6). Help From Above? After the victory, Douglass Coach Tyrone Massenburg credited former Suitland football coach Nick Lynch and former Friendly and Northwestern boys' basketball coach Gerald Moore, both of whom died during this school year.