MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Dunbar High pushed its win streak to 32 games despite some foul trouble and sporadic play by pulling away from Male High of Louisville, 90-70, in a quarterfinal game of the Beach Ball Classic last night at Socastee High.
Senior guard Michael Lloyd had 23 points, six rebounds and five assists and senior center Donta Bright had 21 points and 13 rebounds, but it was junior forward Keith Booth who sparked the Poets. Booth had 19 points, four assists and seven rebounds.
Junior center Alexander Mobley came off the bench to score 10 points and grab nine rebounds to help the Poets take a 47-39 advantage on the boards.
Lloyd, Booth and Bright overcame early foul trouble to help the Poets (9-0) hold off Male (8-1), which is ranked No. 21 in the nation by USA Today.
Dunbar will meet No. 3 St. Raymond's (N.Y.) in a semifinal tomorrow at 7 p.m. St. Raymond's defeated No. 23 Myrtle Beach, 77-61, in last night's other quarterfinal.
In quarterfinals today, host Socastee takes on Philadelphia's Simon Gratz, ranked No. 13 in the country, and No. 2 St. Joseph Notre Dame from Alameda, Calif., meets Clay County from Kentucky.
"I just wanted to come out and play well," Booth said. "I got into foul trouble trying to help out somebody else but somebody had to step up though and take charge."
Dunbar trailed just briefly in the opening minute of the game, but the Poets were in control most of the way. They built a 13-point lead after three quarters but had to hold off a late rally from Male, which was led by junior forward Jason Osborne, who scored 21.
Male outscored the Poets, 12-4, to start the third quarter and cut a 63-52 Dunbar lead to 67-64 with 4:43 left.
Then, the Poets got rolling. Bright hit a spinning layup to make it 69-64. Lloyd and Cyrus Jones came up with back-to-back steals, as the Poets scored four more to make it 73-64.
Osborne broke that run with a follow layup to make it 73-66, but the Poets ran off six more on a driving jumper and two free throws by Lloyd and and another layup by Bright to take control, 79-66, with 1 minute, 55 seconds left.
Dunbar led by 43-35 after a shaky first half in which the Poets were out-hustled and hampered by foul trouble.
"We didn't have that intensity, and we were sluggish in the first half," said Dunbar coach Pete Pompey. "I think we may have been too rested."
Bright, Lloyd and Booth had three fouls each in the first half. Still, Dunbar built a 17-8 first-quarter lead but Male rallied to within 20-19 by the end of the quarter.