Dunbar gets even, beats Lake Clifton Poets win, 64-47, regain first place

February 20, 1993|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

This time it was no contest.

No. 2 Dunbar tried harder, taking the play to Lake Clifton from the beginning and cruising to a 64-47 victory last night before an estimated 6,500 fans at Morgan State's Hill Fieldhouse.

The Lakers never led, played a serious game of catch-up basketball the entire game and were continually frustrated by a much improved Poet defense.

Dunbar (16-4, 11-1) regained the lead in the MSA Gamper Conference 4A-1A Division and set up the possibility of a playoff game for the right to meet No. 3 Walbrook for the public schools title.

"I don't think our kids played that great tonight. But our guts showed," Poets' coach Pete Pompey said.

Lake Clifton (15-4, 10-1) must beat Edmondson Tuesday to force a possible playoff, which may or may not be held. A ruling must be made by the state association and the city.

"I'm not really sure what the situation is," Pompey said. "I don't really like tie-breakers to determine winners . . . but I like them right now."

Dunbar would enter the city playoff based on point differential, 17 to 8. Lake Clifton won the first game on Jan. 22 by 73-65.

The Lakers hit 14 of 47 shots from the field, including 1 of 11 from three-point range. They also missed 12 free throws and were out-rebounded as All-American Keith Booth played most of the game for Dunbar around the basket.

In addition, Terrance Payne, a force in the first game with seven blocks and 12 rebounds, and Ronald Byrd, two of their key inside people, were in early foul trouble and the Poet guards -- with help down the lane -- did a good job of denying decent shots to the Lake Clifton backcourt of Kevin Norris and Shawnta Rogers.

Norris and Rogers combined for 35 points in the first meeting, but had only 18 in the rematch.

"We dug ourselves a hole and couldn't get out of it," Laker coach Charlie Moore said. "Our kids battled, but Dunbar deserves the credit."

The Poets held Lake Clifton scoreless for nearly four minutes at the start of the second quarter and built their lead to 29-12.

An 11-point run by the Lakers got them back into the game and at one point late in the third period they narrowed the gap to three, 41-38.

Dunbar regained command, went back up by 54-40 three minutes into the fourth period and coasted.

"Sometimes you expend so much energy getting back, then you run out of gas," Moore said.

"It was one of those days when we had no inside game, and our outside shooting was horrendous. We were just outplayed."

Booth (25 points, 14 rebounds) was sterling, but the key may have been the play of the much-maligned Poets point guards, Shawn Lipscomb and Jeryl Singletary.

Singletary, who missed the first game because of disciplinary reasons, had 12 points and did a major defensive job on Rogers. "This was a really important game for me," said Singletary, a sophomore. "We've got a lot of pride, and we were hurt after the last game. We had to avenge that, and we did."

Lake Clifton forced an up-tempo game the last time with Singletary on the bench, but this time Dunbar slowed the pace and was in command most of the way.

"I think as great as their two guards are, our kids did an excellent job of funneling them to places where they really didn't want to be," Pompey said. "They were forced into some bad shots and passes. With Singletary and Lipscomb, we have quickness and speed and can wear them down."

The Poets made 20 of 38 from the field and 24 of 37 from the free-throw line.

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