Douglas High's deepest postseason run since 2007 came to an end Friday night at the hands of host Alexandria's inside duo of D'anthony Walton and Landan Williams, and a cold shooting night from the field.
Walton and Williams, listed at 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-6, got the Douglas bigs into early foul trouble, leading the host Cubs to a 62-33 win, and a trip to the Northeast Regional final, where they will take on Ramsey, a winner over Guntersville in the other semifinal.
"Alexandria is an outstanding team," Douglas coach Skylar Baugh said. "They have some bigs on the inside that I've not seen many like them in high school basketball. They've got (Walton) and he was unbelievable. He could get to the basket and get above the rim, and it's high percentage. We tried to shut those two down, and we held our own for a while, but it didn't matter. It was tough."
Baugh said that the Eagles started strong defensively, but struggled to find their shot, trailing 11-5 after the first quarter. In the second, Alexandria's duo found their stride, while the Eagles continued to struggle from the field, leading to a 33-13 halftime deficit.
Adding to those troubles was the Eagles' struggle to grab offensive rebounds for second chances with Alexandria's duo roaming the paint.
"We got some shots early and just couldn't fall," Baugh said. "We got some open shots, and just weren't hitting, and with their big guys inside, getting rebounds was tough. It was a tough night for us."
Making things even harder on the Eagles was what Baugh said was a distinct home-court advantage for the Cubs, who had a loud student section even with the capacity limits in place for playoff games.
Out of the halftime break, Alexandria stretched its lead to 31, erasing any thoughts of a Douglas comeback.
Despite the tough end to the season, Baugh, who concludes his second season in charge of the Eagles, said the future is bright for the the program as a whole. The team went from 14-14 last season, to 21 this year, including an area tournament title, and their first regional semifinals appearance in 14 years.
Douglas will lose two seniors off this season's team.
"Overall we've had an outstanding season," Baugh said. "I feel like our community has awakened and brought some excitement back to basketball. We're about to have a very good future. We have a good group coming up with JV, a better group coming up to ninth grade, so we've got a good future coming up. We just need to get in the gym and take advantage of a summer we didn't have this season, and hopefully that jump that we got this year, we can make it even bigger this next year."
Individual statistics from the game were not immediately available, this story will be updated when they are.