ROANOKE, Va. -- Maybe it was the more-than-five-hour ride Dunbar made yesterday morning to the Roanoke Civic Center. Or perhaps the Poets, ranked fifth in the nation, were bored with the prospect of facing vastly inferior William Fleming High.
Whatever the reason, the Poets boys basketball squad started a bit flat. But once they heated up, there was no cooling them down.
Dunbar made its long journey to the mountains of Southwest Virginia for what amounted to little more than a shoot-around.
From three-pointers to reverse slam dunks, the Poets made just about every type of shot conceivable in routing the Colonels, 85-55.
Leading, 29-23, with just under two minutes remaining in the first half, Dunbar (13-1) began a 31-11 run and led, 60-34, at the end of three quarters.
"The second half we played a lot better," said Poets coach Pete Pompey. "We just kind of came out going through the motions. [Our kids] didn't expect [Fleming] to come at them.
"It wasn't a wasted trip. Every chance you get to take the kids someplace new and show them something different, you do it."
With the game well in hand, the Poets decided to have a little fun.
Michael Lloyd began the final eight minutes with a breakaway, one-handed dunk, and after a Fleming turnover he put in a reverse, two-handed stuff.
Another Colonels turnover led to a rim-rattler from Keith Booth.
Marshall Warren interrupted the dunk-a-thon with a basket for Fleming (3-4), but Donta Bright quickly answered by slamming home an alley-oop pass.
Booth could have made it 5-for-5 in dunks but instead put in a reverse layup on another breakaway basket.
"I was a little tired from all the running down the court," said Booth. "We don't take anything for granted. When you're No. 5, everybody is looking for an upset, especially an unranked team."
Lloyd led the Poets with a game-high 22 points, followed by Booth with 18, Terrance Alexander with 16 and Bright with 12.