Douglass battled back and forth with Oakland Mills last night and was behind by five points with less than four minutes left in the 2A South quarterfinal. It was the biggest point differential of the game and the Eagles were tired.
But then a practice drill flashed in senior Keonie Morrisey's mind: Five basketballs are placed on the free throw line and each player has to shoot each ball twice. If any player fails to drain all 10 shots after 10 minutes, the entire team runs.
The drill is designed for late-in-the-game situations when hustle and free throws make the difference. With that drill in mind, Morrisey scored eight of Douglass's final 10 points in the final two minutes to lead the Eagles to a 48-44 win. Morrisey finished with 18 points and made 10 of 12 free throws.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles (13-10, 9-8) were a bit more active than the Scorpions (13-9, 12-6) and were able to contain everyone but Oakland Mills junior Miriam McKenzie (28 points).
Douglass took its first lead since midway through the third quarter when the Eagles stole the ball off the inbounds pass and found Morrisey, the team's big forward, streaking down the court for a layup.
As Oakland Mills hurried to get the ball back upcourt, Morrisey forced a turnover near midcourt and coasted in for another layup and a three-point lead. Morrisey then sank all four of her free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.
"I wasn't nervous because of our free throw drills," Morrisey said. "In practice we do it right at the end. [Coach Ed Cowan] waits until everybody is good and tired."
Maryland 2A South Quarterfinals
Douglass 48, Oakland Mills 44
Big 3:Douglass's Tiara Green sank a three-pointer with just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter to bring Douglass within one point.
Up Next:Douglass will travel to Potomac, which defeated Howard, 77-29, for a 2A South semifinal game tomorrow.