Romond Jenkins gives Douglass a thrilling victory
I remember back in September when I walked out of Moses F. Miller Stadium thinking I had just seen the best high school football game I would see all season… and it was only Week 2.
The Millwood-Douglass thriller probably was the most exciting football game I saw all season. On Friday night, I walked out of a gym thinking I’ve just seen the best basketball game I’ll see all season, and we haven’t even made it to Christmas yet.
Douglass won with a last-second tip-in by Romond Jenkins, topping Grace Prep of Arlington, Texas, 68-67, Friday night in the Phil Ingersoll TASK Classic at Southern Nazarene University.
Was Jenkins’ tip before or after the buzzer? In real time, I couldn’t tell, and I haven’t had the benefit of a video replay — at least not yet. So I’ll have to go with the officials’ call. And the guys in the stripes said it was good.
But that was only a fraction of the whole story Friday night. The battle between 6-foot-9 Douglass center Marquis Buxton-Hill and Grace Prep’s 7-footer, Isaiah Austin, was fun to watch all night long. It started under the hoop, and by the fourth quarter, both had stepped outside for a few jumpers.
Austin knocked down a 3-pointer and Buxton-Hill drained a pair of 15-footers. But it was inside where Buxton-Hill got his biggest shot of the night. He went up strong and banked in a baby hook with less than 20 seconds left to put the Trojans up 66-65.
Grace Prep’s Jamal Branch took the inbound pass and went the length of the floor for a layup with eight seconds left, and Douglass’ DeVonte Smith drove back down the court for a last-shot layup. It bounced off the front of the rim and Jenkins tipped it in for the win.
The lead changed 12 times in the fourth quarter, including the final five baskets of the night after a 63-63 tie. And each team had at least a four-point lead at some point in the fourth. It was a wild, wild finish.
It’ll be hard for a game to top that drama, and it’ll be even harder for two teams to put that much D-I talent on the court together. Douglass has one player (Dorrian Williams) who has already signed with a D-I program and at least four others with D-I offers. Grace Prep has two who are committed to Big 12 programs, and at least one more who will be highly recruited as he gets older.
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