Dunbar silences Milford Mill by 40 Boys Class 1A, Region II

March 06, 1993|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

When Baltimore schools joined the MPSSAA early last year, a state playoff matchup between Milford Mill and Dunbar was anticipated. The Millers were looking forward to it, and they didn't resist saying it.

In an article in a community newspaper, Milford Mill players talked about how much better they were without Norman Nolan and how they were a better team than Dunbar. In simpler terms, they talked trash, and it became the Poets' favorite reading material during the week.

Last night, the No. 1 Poets taught the visiting Millers a lesson, handling them, 91-51, to win the Class 1A, Region II title and advance to the state Final Four at the University of Maryland.

Senior forward Keith Booth scored a season-high 36 points and had 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the top-seeded Poets (18-4). Nolan added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Rodney Elliott had 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Blanchard Hurd and Kenyon Sellman each led Milford Mill (19-3), the region' No. 2 seed, with 11.

It was Nolan's first meeting with the school he led to the Class 1A state title last season. In the players introduction, he received a loud chorus of boos from the Milford Mill fans who packed the stand behind its bench. After a slow start in the first half, Nolan scored 10 in the second half, including three dunks.

"I feel a whole lot better," said Nolan. "We were up for this game after reading the paper and saying that they wanted us and we gave it to them. We were too excited in the first half, but we calmed down in the second half."

But Nolan's teammates were the story last night, especially the Poets backcourt, which was also maligned in the article. Sean Lipscomb and Jeryl Singletary harassed the Millers' backcourt from start to finish. Lipscomb finished with 11 points and seven ++ steals and Singletary had five points and six steals.

Dunbar forced 34 turnovers. In their first 12 possessions of the second half, the Millers had 10 turnovers, helping the Poets' 19-3 run, extending a 38-25 halftime lead to 57-28 with three minutes remaining. Then the Poets blitzed Milford Mill with easy layups and dunks for the rest of the game.

"Our team showed a lot of character," said Milford Mill coach Homer Seidel. "They played hard and they executed well. I'm not taking anything away from Dunbar. . . . They have an excellent collection of talent, the finest I've seen."

The Millers stayed with the Poets for a good part of the first half. Down 16-9 at the end of the first quarter, Milford Mill scored the first four of the second quarter, to close to within 16-13 with 7:25 remaining.

Nolan scored his first points of the game with 7:08 left on a three-point play that was followed by a pair of three-pointers by ,, Booth, expanding the Poets' lead to 25-13. Milford Mill cut the lead to 30-23, but Dunbar closed out the Millers with an 8-2 run, capped by a rebound and dunk by Nolan for the 38-25 halftime lead.

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