Simon Gratz downs Dunbar at buzzer, 45-43

January 30, 1994|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

During the past few seasons, Dunbar and Simon Gratz have developed one of the country's top rivalries.

But the past two mythical national champions found themselves in an unfamiliar situation yesterday -- playing in a consolation game at the Charm City Classic.

Unfortunately for Dunbar, the outcome was no consolation.

For the second straight game, the No. 2 Poets lost at the buzzer, 45-43, in the Southeast bracket at Loyola College's Reitz Arena.

Brian Samuels of Simon Gratz (16-3) made a 15-foot jumper as time ran out, and Dunbar lost its fourth consecutive game at the Charm City Classic.

Samuels and Lynard Stewart scored 14 points to lead Simon Gratz, the country's No. 6 team in USA Today's poll. Alexander Mobley scored 10 points and had 10 rebounds for the Poets.

Samuels, a 6-foot-2 junior guard, scored the winner over Rodney Elliott for Simon Gratz, which trailed 43-38 with 36 seconds remaining.

With five seconds left, Jeryl Singletary missed the front end of a one-and-one. Terrel Stokes grabbed the miss, and Simon Gratz called a timeout with four seconds remaining.

When play was resumed, Stokes threw an inbound pass to about half-court to Stewart, who turned and found Samuels, who pulled up for the winner.

"I knew we had to hurry up and get a shot off," said Samuels, who also had five rebounds. "I just took a couple of dribbles and shot it."

Dunbar coach Paul Smith said: "And, one day, guys will miss those last-second shots, or won't be in position to shoot them."

The Poets appeared to be in position to win. Billy Wells' free throw with 36 seconds left gave Dunbar its five-point lead.

With 25 seconds left, Samuels' layup pulled Simon Gratz to 43-40. Michael Blunt fouled Singletary, but he missed the first shot of a one-and-one. Blunt tied the score at 43 with a three-pointer from the left arc.

"We just missed a lot of free throws," said Wells, who scored eight points for Dunbar. "It was difficult getting back up after Friday night."

Friday night, the Poets, ranked No. 13 by USA Today, took Rice, ranked No. 1, to double overtime before losing 63-60 on a running 30-foot jumper by Felipe Lopez at the buzzer.

The circumstances were similar to a 72-71 loss to the area's No. 1 team, Southern, on Dec. 10 at the Function at the Junction Mixer. Alphonso Hawes made a three-pointer with three seconds remaining.

The Poets carried a 34-29 lead into the final quarter yesterday, but Simon Gratz scored the first six points of the quarter for a 35-34 lead with 4:11 remaining.

After Tommy Polley regained the lead for Dunbar with two free throws, he made a reverse layup, ending a 5 1/2 -minute stretch

without a field goal for the Poets.

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