Thornton, Polley spark Dunbar over Cambridge 2A EAST BOYS

March 04, 1995|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Special to The Sun

CENTREVILLE -- Second-ranked Dunbar made the 90-minute trek to Queen Anne's last night to finish off its annual pilgrimage to the Eastern Shore -- commonly known as the Class 2A East Region playoffs.

Forwards Marvis Thornton and Tommy Polley made sure the top-seeded Poets didn't come back empty-handed.

Thornton had 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Polley added 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead Dunbar to an 82-60 win over second-seeded Cambridge-South Dorchester (21-3) before an estimated 1,200, moving the East Baltimore power one step closer to its third consecutive state title.

The Poets (23-1) advance to Friday's Class 2A state semifinals in College Park.

After starting slowly yesterday, it took stellar performances from Thornton and Polley to get them there. With Dunbar leading 33-30 with 2:14 left in the first half, the frontcourt tandem asserted itself on both ends of the court.

"They not only provided the offensive spark," said Poets coach Paul Smith, "but when [center Robert] Foster went out with foul trouble [late in the first half], they stepped it up on the defensive boards. That was important because it starts our fast break."

And run Dunbar did, turning defense into offense and breaking the game open with a 10-3 run in the final two minutes of the second quarter to extend a slim lead to 43-33 at the break.

The Poets then took command after halftime, scoring 11 of the first 14 points to go up 53-36 and essentially put the game out of reach.

"I thought we lost our intensity in the second half," said Vikings coach Grayson Hurley. "When we came back out, we stopped doing the things we needed to do."

Thornton, Polley and Foster (seven rebounds) dominated on the boards, giving their team numerous second-chance opportunities while limiting the Vikings to one shot on most possessions.

The Poets' defensive intensity also paid off. They forced 22 turnovers and held Cambridge leading scorer Hanee Camper to 17 points -- most after the game had been decided.

"I wasn't really pleased with our defense on Wednesday night [a 118-63 win over Stephen Decatur], so I tried to let them know that it was going to be important tonight," said Smith. "I figured the effort would be there because of the magnitude of the game."

The win marked Dunbar's third over Cambridge-South Dorchester in as many years -- all in the playoffs. The Poets also defeated the Eastern Shore team, 8-6, in last fall's state football semifinals.

With Dunbar moving to Class 3A next season, Smith said he was sorry to see the rivalry end.

"I think it's been a good, healthy rivalry between two schools from different areas of the state," said Smith.

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