Dunbar extends streak to 53 No. 1 Poets rout Edmondson, 88-67

December 05, 1992|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

The biggest question facing No. 1 Dunbar enterin yesterday's season opener at Edmondson was who would run the offense after the graduation of Paul Banks and All-Metro selections Michael Lloyd and Diego Jones. Jeryl Singletary may have provided the answer.

The smallest player on the court at 5 feet 7, the sophomore came off the bench to spark the Poets in an 88-67 victory over the No. 10 Redskins in a Maryland Scholastic Association Gamper Conference 4A-2A Division game.

The Poets, ranked fifth nationally by USA Today, extended their winning streak to 53 games. Dunbar hasn't lost to an area opponent since March 1990, when it fell to Southern in the MSA A Conference championship game at the Baltimore Arena.

Playing in his first varsity game, Singletary had seven points and seven assists, and he helped settle the sluggish Poets, who trailed by as many as 13 in the opening quarter.

"I think things will go a little smoother the rest of the season now that I've gotten the first-game jitters out," said Singletary. "I had two turnovers early, but that got out of my system. I was ready to go."

Said Dunbar coach Pete Pompey of Singletary: "He played well, being this was his first game in a Dunbar uniform. I really wasn't sure what to expect from him, but he did a good job. He was a little rattled at first, threw the ball away a couple of times, but he is a sophomore. I think after that, he settled down and started to push the ball down the floor and got our tempo going."

Norman Nolan, a transfer from Milford Mill who was also playing his first game in a Poets uniform, started slowly but finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots.

The front line of 6-8 Nolan, 6-7 Keith Booth and 6-8 Alexander Mobley was overpowering, out-rebounding Edmondson, 43-17, including 13 offensive rebounds. Booth, who played the wing and helped bring up the ball, led Dunbar with a game-high 34 points and had five rebounds and four steals.

"We started slow, but this is the first game of the season," said Booth. "It happens every year, like last year, when we started a little slow. We're a young team, but we've got guys who are willing to work hard and pick the slack up when we need to."

Randolph Edison led the Redskins with 30 points and six steals. Antonio Sullivan added 20 and four steals.

The Redskins were without their top player, 6-5 forward Maurice Blanding, declared academically ineligible for the season along with reserve Chris Reynolds. Coach James James said Blanding is appealing the decision, and the result should be known in the next week.

Even without Blanding, Edmondson jumped all over the Poets early, building a 16-3 advantage with 5:04 remaining in the first quarter, as Dunbar committed five turnovers.

With the Poets front line beginning to get comfortable in the paint, they began to chip away at the deficit late in the quarter, outscoring the Redskins, 16-4, to close to 20-19. Booth pulled them even at 23 with a free throw at the end of the quarter.

After Booth's basket with 5:44 left in the first half gave Dunbar a 27-25 lead, the Poets began to pull away, building a 45-35 halftime lead.

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