Dunbar wins to avenge loss to Southwestern and claim city crown No. 2 Poets rally past No. 4 Sabers, 70-66

Boys basketball

February 23, 1996|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When Dunbar lost to Southwestern last month, it was the first loss by the Poets to a city opponent in more than two years. It also was probably the low point of the season for the No. 2 Poets.

Last night, Dunbar returned the favor, rallying for a 70-66 victory over the visiting and No. 4 Sabers to win the Baltimore City championship.

Tommy Polley led Dunbar (16-6) with 23 points. Atman Smith added 15 and Chris Dean scored 14. Stanley Parker led Southwestern (17-4) with 17 points and Reggie Johnson added 15.

The Poets led, 68-66, after a free throw by Tim Lyles with nine seconds remaining. Southwestern inbounded the ball quickly to Johnson who pushed it up the court and passed to Lloyd in the corner.

Lloyd, who was defended by Polley, tried to get around but the ball hit off of Polley's foot. Lloyd tried to save the ball and touched it just as it went out of bounds, giving the ball back to Dunbar. Chris Dean hit two free throws with two seconds remaining.

"Coach [Terry] Leverette was telling me to go to the basket and Tommy Polley kicked it," said Lloyd, who scored five points. "Time was running out, but I tried to get a shot off, but the ball went out of bounds."

The Poets built a 66-60 lead with 1:33 remaining, but baskets by Bobby Gray and Bobby Lovett pulled Southwestern to within 66-64 with 28 seconds left.

Lyles converted one of two free throws for Dunbar with 24 seconds left. Lloyd missed the front end of a one-and-one, but Parker grabbed the rebound and put it back in, making it 67-66 with nine seconds remaining.

Lovett quickly fouled Lyles (13 points) on the inbounds play, who converted the back end of the bonus one-and-one with nine seconds remaining.

"We knew they would come in and play their best game," said Polley, who added 11 rebounds. "We didn't need to make any adjustments, we just had to hustle more and get on the glass."

Southwestern was up 60-57 with 3:54 left after a free throw by Lovett. Lyles, who scored only two points in the last meeting, scored six straight to give the Poets a 63-60 with 2:33 remaining.

"We talked about making free throws and playing with heart," said Dunbar coach Paul Smith. "At halftime, we had to check the heart part because they were really going to the offensive guards."

After being dominated by Southern-B in a 78-37 loss Tuesday, Southwestern needed to win a tiebreaker with Walbrook and Poly for the West League title and to advance to the city title contest.

The Sabers turned things around yesterday, dominating the boards in the first half for a 45-40 lead, which grew to 47-40 with 7:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Dunbar scored the next eight to take a 48-47 lead, then extended it to 55-51 on a layup by Lyles. Southwestern pulled even at 55 on a rebound and follow by Parker with 7:29 left in the game.

Polley converted a basket to give Dunbar back the lead, but the Poets turned the ball over twice under Southwestern's pressure, resulting in layups by Lovett and Johnson to regain the lead at 59-57 with 6:07 left.

"There was some calls that went against us," said Leverette. "But you have to give Dunbar credit, they hung in there until the end. Tommy is a great player and they get contributions from everyone."

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