No. 1 Dunbar storms past Fallston, 122-58 Poets 1 win away from first state title Boys Class 1A

March 13, 1993|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Only a snowstorm seems likely to stop th Dunbar Poets from winning the state Class 1A championship today.

The No. 1 Poets dismantled yet another opponent yesterday, this time Fallston, 122-58, in a semifinal at Cole Field House.

Senior forward Keith Booth scored 26 points and had seven rebounds for the Poets (19-4). Billy Wells scored 12 and four others scored 10. All 14 players scored for Dunbar.

Depending on whether a major snowstorm hits Central Maryland in the early hours of the morning, Dunbar, ranked No. 22 in USA Today's Super 25, will play undefeated Cambridge-South Dorchester in today's 1 p.m. title game.

If the game is postponed, it will be moved to Tuesday at 3 p.m.

But it may not make a difference when the game is played, especially if the Poets continue the way they have performed in the tournament.

In the regionals last week, the Poets ripped Brunswick, 84-42, and Milford Mill, 91-51.

And yesterday, it got even uglier for the Poets' opponents.

Dunbar broke the record for points in a tournament game, eclipsing Fairmont Heights' mark of 120 in a 1971 game against Atholton. In the final period, the Poets scored 42 points, one shy of record also held by Fairmont Heights in that game. The Poets had 52 field goals, a category for which records aren't kept for state playoff games.

"It's a good win, but it's one you don't feel really great about," said Dunbar coach Pete Pompey. "I feel good about giving some of our freshmen some time, and they played well. But other than that, we haven't had much of a game or much of a chance to feel some pressure."

At this time last season, the Poets, led by All-Americans Donta Bright and Michael Lloyd, had completed a 29-0 mark and assured themselves of a mythical national championship. A few weeks later, Baltimore City schools applied to join the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association.

When the change was made official, putting Dunbar in state Class 1A, most expected the Poets to be in this position. Although the Poets struggled against nationally ranked opponents this year, basically, they were just too big and strong for most of the teams in Class 1A.

Take yesterday, for example. Dunbar hit 52 of 90 (57 percent) from the field and out-rebounded Fallston (14-12), 53-26. At halftime, the Poets led 55-23, and toward the middle of third quarter, Pompey began clearing his bench.

"We knew what we were up against," said Fallston coach Robin Hood. "We knew on the boards it would be very tough. The kids boxed them out and they just went over top of them. I don't know if you can coach that."

Rob Myers scored 11 to lead Fallston. Mark Torba, Kernan Kelly and Ephram Dorsey each added 10.

The closest the Cougars were to Dunbar was 12-2 midway in the opening quarter. The Poets held a 24-12 lead at the end of the quarter, then outscored Fallston 31-11 in the second to build the 32-point halftime margin.

"We've had a great season, and we did the best we could," said Myers. "We're pleased to be here and to play a good team like Dunbar."

The Poets will be joining Southern as the city public schools representatives in the state championship round for the first time. The Bulldogs will play Potomac for the Class 3A championship at 3 p.m.

Southern, ranked No. 2 in the area, beat Thomas Johnson 54-51 in a state Class 3A semifinal Thursday.

Stating their case

In their first appearance in the state basketball tournament at the University of Maryland yesterday, the Dunbar Poets broke a tournament scoring record that had stood for 22 years. The Poets scored 122 points, topping the record of 120 set by Fairmont Heights against Atholton in 1971.

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