No. 4 St. Anthony tops Dunbar, 53-48 Poets lose 2nd in Charm City

January 16, 1993|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

Dunbar's dream of successfully defending the mythical national high school basketball championship is all but gone.

The once-beaten Poets had a chance to make some waves this weekend, but St. Anthony squashed them last night in the second Charm City Classic at Towson Center.

The Jersey City, N.J., school, ranked fourth nationally, repulsed a late Dunbar rally in the featured attraction and exacted some revenge at the same time with a 53-48 victory.

Last year, the Poets edged St. Anthony, 50-49, in the first Classic, preventing the Friars' backcourt from scoring a basket.

"Playing Dunbar makes us a better team," Friars coach Bob Hurley said. "There isn't really revenge. It's a challenge we welcome."

Dunbar (9-2), ranked 10th nationally, made a furious second-half comeback, holding the Friars to two baskets in the third quarter, and tied the score at 48 on a jumper by Michael Cooper with 2:01 left.

All-American Keith Booth, quiet for two periods, scored three field goals during the key surge while playing with four personal fouls.

But Jalil Roberts converted a left-handed hook shot to break the tie, and Booth then turned the ball over while being double-teamed.

The Poets then were forced to foul, and William Lovett hit the front end of a one-and-one for a 51-48 lead. Dunbar rebounded, but again played giveaway. After another exchange of turnovers, Roberts scored on a layup to end the suspense.

Dunbar might have lost this game in the second period when it fell behind by as many as 15 points because "of a lot of turnovers and bad decisions," said Pompey.

Booth, scoreless for nearly a half, converted a three-point play to cut St. Anthony's lead to 12 at the half.

Pompey gave his team a lecture at the break, one he said "couldn't be repeated. We just tried to make suggestions."

It worked. Dunbar held the Friars to two baskets in the third quarter and came storming back with Booth finally joining the flow.

"In the beginning of the second half, we got out of sync," Hurley said. "We didn't play with the same poise. In the third quarter, we caved in."

But the Poets cracked at crunch time, finishing with turnovers on their last three possessions and 15 overall. St. Anthony had six as the backcourt withstood the pressure much better than in last season's meeting.

Roberts, headed for Wisconsin, and Roshown McLeod, who will attend St. John's, scored 19 points apiece for St. Anthony (10-0), which shot 26.9 percent in the second half.

The Poets converted 51.2 percent from the field and out-rebounded the Friars, 31-27, but were undermined by their charity with the ball.

Norman Nolan had 13 points and 11 rebounds to pace Dunbar. Booth had 11 points and six assists.

St. Anthony is ranked No. 4 in the USA Today Super 25 of high school teams in the country.

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