If she had not been out ill, Dunbar principal Charlotte Wing would "most definitely" have been courtside to watch top-ranked Dunbar's boys play at 10th-ranked Mervo yesterday, Poets coach Lynn Badham said.
Although she wasn't there, Wing's spirit had the Poets flying high in an impressive 83-54 City League victory over the Mustangs (3-1 overall, 1-0 league).
"We've been sending her flowers, and they dedicated the game to Ms. Wing," Badham said. "They played with a lot of emotion because of it."
All-Metro guard LaFonte Johnson (24 points), Donteaz Dean (16 points, eight rebounds), Pierre Tucker (14, 10) and Arnold Bowie (13 points) all scored in double figures as the Poets (4-0, 2-0) overcame a 14-12 first period deficit and went 20-for-25 at the free throw line.
Ahead only 31-26 at the half, Dunbar, winner of five state titles in the past six years, out-scored the Mustangs 23-15 in the decisive third period and led 54-41 entering the fourth period. The Poets then used a 22-3 run for a 76-44 lead with 2: 40 play.
"They made their run in the third quarter, and it was too late in the fourth quarter to make up all the points," said Mervo's 6-foot-2, All-Metro guard Marcus Hatten, who scored 33 points and was 14-for-21 from the free throw line. "They have a great team, but we have to show that we're a great team by coming back from this."
Johnson, a transfer from Towson Catholic, and Dean had three steals each, with two steals each from Leonard Ferguson, Bowie and Tucker, a transfer from Poly.
Milford Mill transfer Ray Akinola scored eight points for the Poets.
No. 2 Southern-Balto. 80, Northern 53: Melvin Scott led all scorers with 22 points along with six assists and Darshawn Luckey contributed 19 points as the host Bulldogs (2-1) rolled over the Vikings. Southern also received 14 points and eight rebounds from Isaiah Johnson.
No. 6 Calvert Hall 70, Poly 37: Reggie Bryant scored 20 of his game-high 30 points in the second half to help the Cardinals (6-2) pull away from the host Engineers. The Cardinals led 20-11 at halftime but outscored the Engineers 50-26 in the second half.
Jered Woodley scored 15 points and Michael Kastanakas added 12 for Calvert Hall.
No. 7 Lake Clifton 78, Edmondson 62: Andre Mouzone scored 18 points to lead the Lakers (2-0) over the host Redskins. Brandon Hutton scored 13 points for the winners. Teonie Carroll had 12 and Javis Wiggins 11. Colbert Edward led the Redskins with 16 points.
No. 8 Southwestern 78, Carver 73: The Sabres sank 13 of 18 free throws in the fourth quarter to keep the cap on a second-half rally by the Bears. Earl Carr led Southwestern with 32 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Teammate Tyrone Cooper had 16 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
Carver's Michael Wilson scored 31 points, and in the fourth quarter sank three three-pointers and was 5-for-5 at the foul line.
No. 12 McDonogh 59, Severn 50: David Lunn, a 6-foot-5 forward, led the Eagles with 21 points, and Owen Daly contributed 13 as the Eagles (3-4, 1-0) whipped Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference-rival Severn to snap a four-game losing streak.
No. 13 Broadneck 67, South River 45: Jason Burton scored 27 as the Bruins (2-2) won easily over the host Seahawks. Shawn Tasker led South River with 13.
No. 14 City 63, Douglass 47: Todd Galloway had a team-high 17 points and nine assists as the host Knights (4-0) remained unbeaten. Austin Baker (14 rebounds) had eight of his 16 points in third quarter as City turned a 29-24 halftime lead into a 44-30 margin.
No. 16 Oakland Mills 69, River Hill 60: Anthony Breland had a game-high 24 points, and Murray Graves scored 22 as the Scorpions (3-1) outlasted the host Lightning (1-3).
No. 18 Milford Mill 66, Perry Hall 43: Richard Johnson scored 22 points, Jacen Drummond added 11, and Kevin Smith had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds to help the host Millers (5-0) roll by the Gators (5-1).
No. 20 Atholton 63, Hammond 47: Brian Boykins, Eddie Lopez and Angel Cotto led a balanced attack as the Raiders (4-1) turned back the visiting Bears. Boykins led all scorers with 19 points, while Lopez and Cotto had 12 each. David Hines had 11 points and Datren Awkward 10 for the Bears.
Arundel 71, Southern-AA 67: Ellis Champion scored a game-high 25 points as the host Wildcats (4-1) got by the upset-minded Bulldogs (0-5). David Corum had 13 points, and Mike Parker scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds for the Wildcats.
No. 4 Roland Park 65, St. Stephen's/St. Agnes (Va.) 24: Betsy Gaines had 16 points, and Stasia Thomas, Caline McHenry and Esther Ehrmann scored 10 apiece to help the Reds (5-2) pick up the win. Roland Park led 38-11 at halftime and pulled away in the second half.