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BOYS BASKETBALL: Davis & Douglass bounce DCD in regional finals, may signal end of an era

By: Scott Burnstein, March 13, 2014, 11:00 am

PONTIAC – In a battle of teams led by Mr. Basketball candidates, Detroit Douglass star combo guard Darrell Davis put on a show, propelling his squad to a Class B regional title.

Davis, committed to Dayton, scored 24 points, cleared seven rebounds and dished five assists in the victory, besting Birmingham Detroit Country Day all-state floor general Edmond Sumner’s 14 points (7-of-11 shooting), in the Hurricanes’ 69-56 win over the defending state champion Yellowjackets Wednesday night at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.

Sumner, someone many consider a frontrunner for the 2014 Mr. Basketball trophy, will be playing in college at Xavier.

Douglass lost to Sumner and the Yellowjackets last winter in the regional-round of the state tournament on the same NDP court that they claimed the crown Wednesday.

“We came out and played hard tonight,” he said. “We’re trying to set a tone with our play in this tourney, I want to go out with a bang, get that state championship before I leave high school. It’s all about putting in the work, I think anything can be done if you work hard enough.”

Trailing 15-14 after the first quarter of action, Douglass clamped down on defense, holding Country Day to just three points in the second quarter to snare a 28-17 advantage going into the locker room at halftime.

Hurricanes’ senior center David Bradley (14 points, eight boards) bagged a bucket at the third-quarter buzzer to allow Douglass to grab a 45-33 lead and Davis’ 10 points in the final frame placed the game to bed and possibly the Country Day dynasty, as well.

Prior to 2014, the Yellowjackets had played in five of the past seven final fours, raising a trio of state titles (2007, 2010, 2013).

With Sumner and the team’s second leading-scorer, Maceo Baston, Jr. (team-high 20 points vs. Douglas), both graduating and Kurt Keener (architect of the three-decade reign of nine state championships and countless Division I college recruits), in Arizona following leaving the school last spring, the seemingly-endless string of deep tournament runs may be ending.

Under first-year head coach Mark Bray, who came over from Utica Ford in the spring, Country Day finished a very respectable 17-8 while playing a highly-competitive schedule.

This will be the first time in nine years the Yellowjackets won’t be competing in the state quarterfinals.

“I feel real bad for those guys, it’s a tough way to go out,” said Bray of those on the 2014 club that won state championship-rings in 2013 and won’t be getting a chance to defend their title at the Breslin Center next week. “You’d like to go out playing your best and tonight we clearly weren’t at our best as a team. “

Qualifying for a final-four appearance for the first time since 2010, Douglass improved to 16-9 with Wednesday’s victory.

Davis’ running buddy in the Hurricanes’ backcourt, Cleveland State-signee Terrell Hales, scored 16 points in the win.