Dunbar handles So. River

March 04, 1994|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,Sun Staff Writer

WYE MILLS, Md. -- On the 1 1/2 -hour bus trip to the Eastern Shore yesterday, Dunbar coach Paul Smith worried that his No. 2 Poets might not be quite ready to play in the Class 2A, East Region semifinal.

His fears came true, but were quickly erased.

After a slow start, the top-seeded Poets (20-3) defeated fourth-seeded South River, 81-49, to advance to tomorrow's 7:30 p.m. title game against No. 2 seed Cambridge-South Dorchester (21-1) at Chesapeake College.

Six-foot-7 senior Norman Nolan scored 20 points and had 15 rebounds to lead four Poets in double digits as Dunbar rolled to its 20th victory. Alexander Mobley (14 points), Billy Wells (12) and Tommy Polley (10) also hit doubles before Smith cleared the bench early in the final period.

Underdog South River (12-11) held its own early, grabbing an 11-7 lead at the end of the first period and trailing 33-20 at the half.

The Poets erupted after the break, outscoring the Hawks 25-8 in the third period.

"Sometimes we come out complacent and we can't afford to do that Saturday night," said Smith.

"I saw South River the other night and they have a couple pretty good players in [Corey] Davis and [Russell] Tongue, but I knew we had size inside over them."

Dunbar began to show its size underneath in a 26-9 second period and controlled the boards the rest of the way.

"The first half we didn't play that bad, but we don't have the firepower to stay with a team like that," said South River coach Kenny Dunn.

"That took away what inside hope we had and when Nolan got going underneath, that was all she wrote, but it was a good experience for our kids."

Tongue led South River with 12 points, and Davis had nine.

The Poets appeared in the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association State playoffs for the first time last year and won the 1A title over Cambridge.

Both teams moved up to 2A this season and ended up in the same region. Smith expects a battle in the region final.

"I saw Cambridge beat Southern and they've got a very good team," said Smith. "It looks like our height versus their speed."

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