Southern rolls past Dunbar, 77-55

Bulldogs take city title

Dunbar girls finally overcome Western, 52-51

February 24, 2000|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Meredith Smith could not recall the last time he had coached a Southern boys basketball team to a victory over Dunbar on the Poets' home court.

But yesterday's convincing 77-55 rout of the No. 2 Poets -- which earned the seventh-ranked Bulldogs (17-5) the Baltimore City League title -- will be a difficult one for the 19th-year coach to forget.

Southern's 6-foot-3 juniors Darshawn Luckey and Melvin Scott scored 29 and 25 points respectively, including eight and 13 points apiece during a critical second period in which the Bulldogs turned a 12-all first quarter tie into a 35-23 halftime lead.

For the game, Southern was an amazing 25-of-29 from the line, with Luckey and Smith each going 8-for-8.

Brandon Jeffers (six rebounds, three blocks) and Keon Johnson (10 assists, five rebounds, two steals) contributed nine points each for Southern, which also avenged an earlier 70-64 loss at Dunbar (16-5) after leading by 10 points.

"We were hungry, tonight, to do what hadn't been done in a while," said Scott, an All-Metro pick who also had seven rebounds and five each in steals and assists. "This is one of the best wins of my career."

Girls

No. 2 Dunbar 52, No. 9 Western 51: The Baltimore City girls basketball title has finally come to Dunbar -- but not without a fierce challenge from three-time defending champ Western.

The Poets used an 8-2 fourth-quarter run and held off a last-second threat from Western to emerge with their first city crown.

Western's Robin Young, who had hit all three of her previous shots, tried a three-pointer with three seconds left, but Bianca Sullivan got a hand in her face and the shot did not fall.

Lillian Drumgold got the rebound on the far baseline and quickly heaved a shot toward the rim as time expired.

The host Poets (20-1), who beat Western, 69-50, in December, knew the Doves (16-6) would be tougher to beat the second time around.

"It feels great," said Poets senior center LaKesha Wills, who scored nine of her 18 points in the fourth quarter. "They had it going on for so many years and we broke it. This is the first year for Dunbar. You have to feel great."

For much of the game, the 5-foot-10 Wills struggled against great defense from Doves forward Joy Gorham, who got a lot of help double-teaming Wills down low. But in the final quarter, Wills found the openings and hit every shot.

"Some of [the Doves] didn't catch their second wind and they weren't helping as much," said Poets coach Wardell Selby, "so we figured we'd decoy, bring Kesha from one side to the other or slash her to the foul line where they couldn't get as much help. Kesha was just determined not to let this one get away."

The turning point in the game, which the Doves led by as many as 12 in the first half, came midway through the fourth quarter. Wills scored seven in an 8-2 run that gave the Poets a 50-43 lead with 3: 05 to go.

During that stretch, the Doves turned the ball over on five of six possessions. Only Joy Gorham's layup off her steal interrupted the Poets' run.

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