Dunbar coach rips Poets after win Southern rolls

December 17, 1993|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

Dunbar and Southern kept their unblemished records intact heading into tonight's showdown for the area's No. 1 ranking with victories yesterday at the Function at the Junction at Coppin State.

But Poets interim coach Paul Smith was disappointed with his team's performance despite its 74-59 victory over Walbrook.

"There is no way I could be pleased with this performance," he said. "We had too many players on our team who are interested in individual statistics. My idea is that we play as a group regardless of what our skills are.

"It's quite possible that we might not have some people with us tomorrow. Because I will have a clean clubhouse. I will have a group of people that are playing for one goal and that goal is to play as a team."

The Poets, ranked eighth nationally by USA Today, improved to 3-0. In other games, the Bulldogs beat Largo, 82-60, and Lake Clifton defeated Potomac, 83-59.

Smith would not comment further on any actions he might be taking.

After watching a 12-point lead dwindle to five midway through the third quarter, Dunbar scored the next 12 points, turning a 41-36 lead into a 53-36 edge with 38 seconds left.

The Warriors (2-2, and ranked No. 8 in the area), with leading scorer Travone Broadway in foul trouble most of the game, were unable to recover.

The 6-foot-2 junior swingman scored only nine points and picked up four fouls in the first half as the Warriors trailed 38-26.

After a 6-0 run to open the second half, Walbrook closed to within 38-32 with 5:57 left in the third quarter. A basket by Chris Reynolds (11 points) moved the Warriors to 41-36 with 4:47 left.

Marvis Thornton got the 12-0 run started for the Poets with three free throws, then junior guard Billy Wells did the rest. He scored the final nine points, converting four layups off defensive pressure by the Poets and adding a free throw.

Wells came off the bench to lead the Poets with 19 points. Senior center Norman Nolan had 11 points and six rebounds.

"Billy feels comfortable coming off the bench," Smith said. "I'm not sure what I'm going to do as far as starting lineups but there will probably be a couple of changes because there were some starters who were not getting the job done."

No. 2 Southern-Baltimore (3-0) extended the state's longest winning streak to 17, routing Largo of Prince George's County, in matchup of two of last season's state champions.

Senior shooting guard Kevin Simpson scored 24 points and had eight rebounds. Damon Cason added 24 and six assists, and senior forward Dante Williams had 11 points and seven rebounds.

"At this point of the season, they have probably passed expectations a little bit," said Southern coach Meredith Smith. "That probably has a lot to do with the experience factor. We have a lot of veterans who bring that experience."

Yesterday, the Bulldogs built a 17-point halftime advantage against the Lions (0-3) and were never threatened.

After Southern jumped out to a 6-0 lead, the Lions climbed back to within 17-15 at the end of the first quarter, but nine Largo turnovers resulted in 12 Southern points during a 22-6 run that extended its lead to 39-21.

"We're a little surprised by how things have gone," said Simpson. "Everybody is just playing hard and we're doing it as a team."

In the other game, Lakers junior forward Reggie Frazier led all scorers with 23 points. Senior center Terrance Payne had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Shawnta Rogers scored 18.

No. 1 vs. No. 2

Since 1990, Dunbar and Southern-Baltimore have finished either No. 1 or 2 in the area in boys basketball. But they haven't played each other since February 1992.

That will change tonight when the No. 1 Poets and the No. 2 Bulldogs meet at 8 at Coppin State in the final game of the two-day Function at the Junction Mixer.

"They feel that they can beat us and we feel that we can beat them," said Dunbar senior guard Michael Cooper. "Any challenge that we face we're ready to meet."

Last year, the first season of playoff eligibility for city public schools in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, Dunbar won the state Class 1A title, while Southern claimed the state 3A championship.

The Poets are ranked No. 8 nationally by USA Today and extended their winning streak to 15 games with a 74-59 win over Walbrook last night in their tournament opener. Southern extended its winning streak to 17 with an 82-60 win over Largo. It is the longest winning streak in the state.

The last meeting between the two schools was on Feb. 25, 1992, at Morgan State. The Poets won, 69-54.

"Dunbar is Dunbar," said Southern coach Meredith Smith. "They have a rich tradition and they are talented. We are looking forward to the challenge."

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