With yesterday's 85-77 East Division victory over visiting City, No. 7 Dunbar (7-4, 1-0) ended a four-game losing streak that included Friday's loss to No. 1 Southwestern, the Poets' first at home since 1988.
But first-year coach Lynn Badham is in the business of turning boys into responsible young men. And during the Poets' string of setbacks, he said, he "did a lot of teaching."
"More than being about the W's and the L's, this game showed they're beginning to grow up and learn how to be patient," said Badham. "Of all the skills that they have, I wanted them most to learn patience. When we prayed as a team today, we prayed to have faith in the Lord. As a result, they did a better job with patience today."
Sophomores Tim Lyles (16 points, three steals) and Jamal Brown (19 points, seven rebounds, three blocks) each scored 10 points in the Poets' decisive 30-point third quarter, during which a 33-30 halftime deficit became a 60-49 lead entering the fourth period.
"Coach was worried at halftime, but he was motivating us, telling us to just work hard, get back the lead," said the 6-foot-6 Brown, whose dunk brought the Poets to within 37-36, and whose subsequent three-point play tied the game at 39.
For Lyles, whose father, Tim Sr., and uncle, Mike, played at City in the '70s, the win earned bragging rights at the dinner table.
"My father was here today," said the younger Lyles, "and I had to prove a point."
Dunbar sophomore Arnold Bowie scored 14 points and Chris Dean, a 6-4 senior center finished with 10 rebounds and seven points, though he's still recovering from knee surgery six weeks ago.
"We had to redeem ourselves from the losing streak," Dean said. "As a team, we just had to regroup. This is the game that set us straight."
Dyrell Garrett, a 5-6 senior guard, finished with 17 points. The second of his three three-pointers gave the Poets their first third-quarter lead, 42-41.
"Coach Badham is a new coach, and some of us are still getting used to him," Garrett said. "There were a lot of butterflies, but we overcame them."
The Dunbar players overcame the jitters and a skillful Knights (4-3, 0-2) team.
There was City's speedy 5-9 guard Omar Smith, who scored 18 of his game-high 34 points in the second-half. But he was more unstoppable in the first half, when his 4-for-4 three-point shooting (he had five threes overall) helped his team to the 33-30 halftime lead.
There was the Knights' Derrick Goode, a 7-foot, 300-pound sophomore who -- though he missed much of the third period with three fouls -- thwarted the Poets early with three of his five blocks. Goode finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
And there was the Knights' defense, led by 6-4 Warren Smith (nine points, four steals), which caused problems for the Poets' backcourt, scoring five baskets in the first half off steals.
There also were the "family ties" to overcome.
Badham had coached with longtime Dunbar coach Bob Wade -- father of City's coach, Darrell Wade -- for many a season until the elder Wade left to become Maryland's head coach in 1987.
Darrell Wade said he "approached the game as if Dunbar [were] any other team," but the tradition lay thick on him, as well.
"Coach Badham raised me. We're family," said the younger Wade. "I played football and basketball under him, and he's like a father to me."
Bob Wade attended the game with his wife, Carol, who openly rooted for City while her husband -- saying, "I'm just here" -- claimed neutrality.
"I can't say what [Badham's] been feeling, but it's always pressure to coach at Dunbar," Bob Wade said before the game. "They've taken their lumps, but it's not like they've been losing by a lot. They'll adjust, settle in, and they'll be OK."
Indeed, things turned out OK for Dunbar yesterday, but Badham had mixed feelings afterward.
"If I didn't have to schedule Darrell [and City], I wouldn't," Badham said. "I love Darrell too much, and I don't like to see any of us lose."
Pub Date: 1/22/97