St. Raymond's gets shot at revenge with Dunbar N.Y. team lost two to Poets last year

December 08, 1992|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

St. Raymond's isn't used to losing, especially to the same team during the same season.

So, when the Ravens, of The Bronx, N.Y., face Dunbar in tonight's final game of the four-event, Charm City/Big Apple Challenge, Poets coach Pete Pompey expects his squad's victories over them a year ago to be a motivating factor.

"We beat them by like 12 and eight points [actually 89-81 and 93-82], so they've definitely got a reason," said Pompey, whose Poets are the defending national champions after last year's 29-0 campaign.

Although St. Raymond's lost two players to graduation, including 6-foot-5 forward Dana Dingle, who joined Dunbar graduate Donta Bright at the University of Massachusetts, Pompey said the game should be no less difficult -- especially with the pressure building for a Poets squad that returns one starter.

St. Raymond's returns four starters, including senior 6-9 center Damon Boneapart, who averages 12.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, and senior small forward Tyler Brown, 6-3, who averages 16.0 points and 5.0 rebounds.

The Ravens also have two excellent junior guards, 6-2 Kareem Reid (10.0 points, 7.0 assists) and 5-10 Eric Harris (11.0 points).

"They have a good overall team and Boneapart is an excellent rebounder," said Pompey. "They're very similar to us, but they don't get up and down the floor like we do."

Dunbar, ranked No. 1 in The Baltimore Sun poll and No. nationally by USA Today, has a 53-game winning streak that is six shy of the school record and the country's second longest.

But St. Raymond's has a stellar reputation as well, entering the game ranked 15th by Street and Smith's.

Dunbar experienced a brief scare in Friday's season-opening, 88-67 victory over Edmondson, the area's ninth-ranked team. The Poets fell behind, 16-3.

"We were not playing well those first few minutes against Edmondson," said Pompey, who said his insertion of guard Jeryl Singletary helped increase the tempo and generate an offense.

"We had some unforced errors that Edmondson took advantage of, and St. Raymond's will be a lot bigger and more experienced in terms of top 25 competition."

Pompey still is unsettled on a starting point guard and lists

Singletary, Yashada King, Sean Lipscomb and Henry Giles as candidates.

Dunbar's All-America, do-everything senior forward, Keith Booth (6-7), scored 34 points against the Redskins and is coming off last year's 19.5-point, 11.8-rebound, 4.9-assist season.

He is the only returning starter, but the addition of All-Metro junior center Norman Nolan -- a 6-8 transfer from Milford Mill -- makes the Poets' frontcourt among the nation's most formidable. Nolan averaged 21.7 points, 15.4 rebounds and 3.9 blocks for the Millers, leading them to last year's Class 1A state title.

And after coming off the bench for most of last season, Alexander Mobley (6-8) will be counted on more heavily by Pompey. The junior center/forward averaged 6.8 points and 5.1 rebounds but will need to step it up another level.

In the first game of the night -- and the only girls game -- Walbrook, last year's Metro Classic champion, will meet neighborhood rival Western, which is led by All-Metro sophomore Chanel Wright (6-0), who averaged 16.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 3.1 assists.

Wright, the City-Wide league's 1991-92 Player of the Year, is complemented by second-team fellow sophomore Kim Smith.

Walbrook should get excellent leadership from 5-5 senior guard Tina Fauntleroy, a second-team All-Metro pick last season.

The second game features Archbishop Molloy of Queens, N.Y., against No. 3 Lake Clifton, whose leadership comes from 5-5 Shawnta Rogers.

NB Rogers, whose stature and style of play draws comparisons with

Muggsy Bogues, is a sophomore guard who last year averaged 19.8 points and played tough defense to earn second-team All-Metro honors.

His partner in the backcourt is senior Kevin Norris (5-9), an excellent ball-handler who last year averaged 18.4 points from his point guard post.

The challenge, however, will be overcoming 6-6 power forward Jason Hoover (16 points, 10 rebounds), the son of former New York Knicks player Tom Hoover, and senior 5-9 point guard Shandue McNeil (16 points, eight assists).

The third game will feature No. 2 Southern vs. Rice (N.Y.).

Southern (1-1) has an equally potent backcourt tandem, with 6-5 senior shooting guard Kevin Simpson (12.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists), and 6-1 junior point man Damon Cason (16.5 points), whose 10.3 assists last season led the area.

Southern dropped Friday's opening-round game of the Johnstown (Pa.) Tournament, 61-44, to Simon Gratz of Philadelphia, the nation's top-ranked team.

The Bulldogs are looking to make it two straight victories after a 54-48 consolation game victory over LaSalle (N.Y.) in Pennsylvania.

Rice, of Manhattan, features the country's top-rated junior, Louis Felipe "Sleepy" Lopez, a 6-6 guard/forward who averages 22.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists.

Two more 6-6 players for the Raiders are Reggie Freeman (15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds) and Jamal Cox (10.0 points, 7.0 rebounds). Guard Ziggy McKee averages 8.0 assists.

Facts and figures

6*

What: Charm City/Big Apple Challenge

Site: Baltimore Arena

When: Today

Matchups: Walbrook vs. Western girls, 2:30 p.m.; Lake Clifton vs. Archbishop Molloy (N.Y.) 4:30 p.m.; Southern vs. Rice (N.Y.) 6:30 p.m.; Dunbar vs. St. Raymond's (N.Y.), 8:30 p.m.

Players to watch: Chanel Wright, Western, Soph.; Keith Booth, Dunbar, Sr.; Felipe Lopez, Rice, Sr.; Norman Nolan, Dunbar, Jr.; Damon Cason, Southern, Jr.; Kevin Simpson, Southern, Jr.; Shawnta Rogers, Lake Clifton, Soph.; Kevin Norris, Lake Clifton, Sr.; Jason Hoover, Archbishop Molloy, Sr.; Tyler Brown, St. Raymond's, Sr.

Tickets: $9. Proceeds benefit the Fuel Fund

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