The first time it was bad. This time it was ridiculous.
Dunbar High routed Loyola by 46 points a month ago at Blakefield, a game the Dons could chalk up to an off night.
Yesterday in their own gymnasium, the Poets showed it was no fluke, trouncing the Dons, 111-50 and clinching a spot in the Maryland Scholastic Association Division I playoffs.
Not that anyone expected Dunbar, with a lineup that includes forwards Keith Booth and Donta Bright and guard Michael Lloyd, to miss postseason play.
The three most talented Poets turned the rematch into a dunk-fest that featured 16 reverse slams, 360-slams and grand slams. Loyola never had a chance against their superior quickness and leaping ability.
"We knew they were very good," Loyola coach Jerry Savage said of the Poets. "But I don't think we played very well at all. There's not a whole lot to say."
The Dons never led and tied only once -- at 2-2 on two free throws by Wes Unseld Jr. By the time Unseld scored the team's first field goal six minutes into the game, Dunbar (24-0, 7-0) already had delighted the crowd with slams by Booth, Bright and LLoyd and boasted an 18-2 lead.
By the finish, Lloyd (30 points), Booth (28) and Bright (10) had amassed seven points more than their combined season average of 61. Guard Cyrus Jones pitched in 16, including two three-pointers.
Loyola (19-8, 4-5) tried to attack the nation's No. 1 high school team by "spreading them and keeping them out of the middle," Savage said. "But we did a poor job of handling the ball [31 turnovers] and gave them far too many easy shots."
Early in the fourth quarter, with the Poets' lead at 50, coach Pete Pompey cleared the bench.
"I hate games like that, but it is very comforting to sit down and watch them," Pompey said. "We just have more talent than Loyola, some kids who can get up and down the floor. They're enjoying this. It's me who takes all the pressure."
The Poets will not have it nearly as easy Friday night when they play Lake Clifton, which trails them in the division, at Morgan State.
"We have to be ready to play," Pompey said. "They gave us a tough game [91-76] the first time because of their speed."