Dunbar continues rise, stops Lakers

8th-ranked Poets beat No. 6 Lake Clifton, 79-68

Boys basketball

High Schools

January 13, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

When Dunbar players saw their preseason No. 15 ranking in The Sun - perhaps the lowest ever for the storied program - their first-year coach, Eric Lee, said "They were upset."

On the other hand, Lee, nicknamed "Smiley," simply grinned.

"That first poll got the kids kind of angry, but me, I don't worry about the polls," said Lee, who replaced Lynn Badham after Badham stepped down shortly before the start of the season. "It took a lot of pressure off of us because no one expected us to win. We had nowhere to go but up and that's what we've done."

Last night's 79-68 victory at sixth-ranked Lake Clifton (8-3) should continue the rise of the eighth-ranked Poets (10-1), who received contributions from nine players, with Kenny Minor (21 points, five steals, five assists), James Taylor (18 points) and Steve Miller (13 points) leading the way.

Dunbar, winner of three straight games, led 8-1 in the first period before the Lakers - led by Antonio Regis (25 points, four three-pointers) and Aaron Cook (21 points) - responded with a 12-0 run for a 13-8 lead.

Down 18-12 entering the second quarter, the Poets, with help from Victor Molen (10 points, four blocks) and Reggie Cornell (seven rebounds, five blocks) began to take control in the paint.

Dunbar outscored Lake Clifton 25-13 in that period for a 37-31 halftime lead and led by as many as 12 points during the third period, after which it was up 53-46.

A jumper by Cook pulled the Lakers to within 59-53 with 5:11 to play. But the Poets picked up the pace again, closing with a 20-15 run for the final margin of victory.

Miller, Taylor and Minor took turns leading their team. Miller scored six of the Poets' first 12 points, and Taylor scored 13 over the second and third periods.

Minor closed the show, scoring nine of his 13 fourth-quarter points at the free-throw line, where he was 10-for-15 overall and his team was 25-for-33.

"The word was out that Dunbar's program had fallen off, but we're trying to show that we have a talented team," Minor said. "We've got a lot of people on our team who come out and play hard every game. And when we do that, we don't feel teams can run with us."

Lake Clifton received four technical fouls in the game's final 4:47, two against head coach Herman Harried - who was ejected - and one each against assistant coach Ron Lucas and a player.

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