South River wins, 62-54, earns date with Dunbar

March 02, 1994|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Sun Staff Writer

They came onto the floor in high spirits, not at all like teams without many future prospects.

To the contrary, South River and Wicomico were delighted by the idea of advancing to the Class 2A East region semifinals against Dunbar tomorrow at Chesapeake College.

That's THE Dunbar (19-3), No. 2 in The Baltimore Sun poll and ranked No. 17 by USA Today.

"My kids would love to play Dunbar," said Wicomico coach Butch Waller, who in his 28th year scored his 350th victory last month. "It would be a thrill."

As South River coach Ken Dunn dared to think about Dunbar before the game, he reached into his bag and brought out a small Bible.

"I would use this," Dunn said. "And I'd try to give a speech that would give the kids enough nerve to come out of the locker room."

South River drew the Dunbar assignment last night, pulling away from Wicomico with 11 straight points midway through the second half for a 62-54 victory.

Russell Tongue had 11 rebounds and 10 steals, seven in the second half, and Corey Davis scored 16 points.

Throughout the season, Dunn said, the team has been erratic, an "up and down bunch" that started the season 9-1. That was remarkable in view of the fact that 6-foot-7 Darren Hall was gone (to Liberty University) from the team that was 15-8 last season and 19-4 the year before.

But gradually teams began to exploit the Seahawks' lack of an inside game, where 6-3 Andy Moore and John Henry were doing their best but getting pushed around. When South River took the floor last night, it had lost eight of its past 10 games.

"The young kids began to lose confidence and we didn't have the height and experience for a strong inside game," Dunn said. "Another problem has been foul shooting. One game, against Southern, we missed 22 foul shots and 12 layups in the first half alone and lost by 10 points."

Up and down? In the space of three nights last week, South River lost twice to Broadneck, by two points and then by 19.

In the first game against Leonardtown, Tongue scored 39 points. In the rematch, he was scoreless as the entire South River team scored only 39 in defeat.

"He heard talk that he was being a ball hog," Dunn said. "So he decided not to shoot."

Despite its ups and downs, South River gets the pleasure of Dunbar's company. After the game, Dunn again pulled out the Bible and leafed to the 23rd Psalm: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. . . . "

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