Eastside pride carries Dunbar over L. Clifton No. 10 Poets deal first loss to No. 4 Lakers, 71-60

January 20, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Its leading scorer was on the bench with four fouls. Two starters fouled out. A key reserve also had four fouls.

And it was only the third quarter. One that Lake Clifton would prefer to forget.

Add an inspired performance by No. 10 Dunbar, and the Poets pulled off a 71-60 victory over the No. 4 Lakers before a crowd of over 1,500 at Coppin State last night.

Senior forward Tommy Polley led all scorers with 20 points for Dunbar (6-4) and freshman Tim Lyles added 17. Eric Evans and Kevin Braswell led Lake Clifton (10-1) with 14 points apiece and Michael King had 12.

Leading 49-43 after three periods, Dunbar began to pull away, scoring eight of the first 10 points of the final quarter to build a 57-45 lead.

"We knew they wanted to run the floor, but if we stayed patient, they would get frustrated," said Polley, who added 12 rebounds. "They started taking bad shots and fouling and were frustrated."

The source of the Lakers' frustration was foul problems as King sat the third quarter with four fouls and wasn't a factor in the fourth quarter.

Within 20 seconds late in the third quarter, Lakers' starters Donte Lemmon and Roderick Walker picked up their fifth fouls after their team pulled to within 43-41 with 2:26 left in the quarter.

"This is disappointing," said Lake Clifton coach Charlie Moore. "Around school kids were saying we were going to blow Dunbar out, but it's not like that. It's about Eastside pride and records don't mean anything."

The Poets led 32-27 at halftime, then King picked up his fourth foul only 30 seconds into the second half. Dunbar pulled out to a 40-32 lead before a jumper by Rodney Bass and a three-pointer by Braswell got the Lakers to within 40-37 with 3:48 left.

A basket by Damon Spells made it 40-39, but Polley responded with a three-point play. After a layup by Evans, Lyles and David Manigault each hit two free throws to push the lead back to 47-41.

"We talked about Poet pride before the game," said Dunbar coach Paul Smith. "I challenged them tonight because we knew how important this game is to both teams."

The last meeting between the two longtime rivals was in the 1992-93 season when they split their meetings at Morgan State, the latter won by Dunbar as it claimed the area's No. 1 ranking.

Dunbar got the early advantage

at 4-0 as the Lakers rushed and missed their first five shots, but regrouped to score the next six.

A three-pointer by Evans gave the Lakers a 9-6 lead and concluded the quarter with a 13-12 lead, but they ran into problems in the second period.

With 1:01 left in the first half, Lake Clifton got back to within 27-25, but Dunbar converted five of six free throws (it hit 28 of 50 overall) to push the lead to 32-27.

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