Pep talk pops Poets past Lakers

No. 7 Dunbar gets going, tops Lake Clifton, 78-56

Boys basketball

January 22, 2000|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

A familiar part of Dunbar coach Lynn Badham's halftime pep talk involves telling his players to take advantage of the opponent in the third quarter's first few minutes.

His seventh-ranked Poets took the advice to heart yesterday, breaking open a close game in the third quarter and earning a 78-56 cruise past visiting, 17th-ranked Lake Clifton.

The Lakers were down only by 10 at the half, but Dunbar held its East Baltimore rivals scoreless for the next 2: 37 and made a 20-8 third-quarter run.

"Coach always tells us to go all out in the beginning of the half," said junior guard Steven Miller, who scored 10 points and collected eight rebounds. "It tells us how the rest of the game is going to go."

Badham, whose team improved to 9-4 and won its sixth game in a row, said he was pleased to see his talk produce results.

"We stress that the first three or four minutes are the most important minutes," Badham said. "They played hard, and I tip my hat to them."

Junior guard Kenneth Minor, who added 12 points, two assists, and two steals, said the Poets figured their motion offense and trapping defense would wear down the Lakers.

"We knew that they were playing off adrenalin in the first half, and we knew that they wouldn't come out as fired up in the second half," Minor said. "We put more pressure on them to see how they would react. I guess they didn't take it well."

The Poets were aggressive early, racing to a 12-4 lead, punctuated by a two-hand dunk by senior guard Calvin Dotson, who led all scorers with 19 points.

But Dotson was assessed a technical foul for hanging on the rim, which seemed to frustrate Dunbar. That's when the Lakers put together a 13-4 run that gave them a one-point lead with 2: 43 left in the quarter.

Nursing a 22-19 lead at the beginning of the second quarter, the Poets kept Lake Clifton at bay. Miller scored six of his 10 points in that period.

In the pivotal third quarter, the Lakers scored only eight points -- a layup and a free throw by senior guard Tyrone Burns (a team-high 18 points and four rebounds), a three-pointer by junior guard Aaron Cook (17 points, five boards), and a put-back by junior forward George Carter.

Lake Clifton fell to 5-7, but coach Herman Harried was more disappointed in his team's performance: "There was no emotion. They allowed the other team to do what they wanted to do offensively, and we weren't active offensively."

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