Dunbar bursts to final, 81-71

Knocking off Fair. Heights, Poets can go for 7th crown

Class 2A boys basketball

March 10, 2001|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Kenny Minor scored 25 points, including 10-for-11 free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter, and junior guard JuJuan Robinson came off the bench to score 17 of his 26 points in the second quarter in No. 1-ranked Dunbar's 81-71 victory over Fairmont Heights of Prince George's County last night in the Class 2A state boys basketball semifinals at Cole Field House.

The victory, the 20th straight for Dunbar (26-1), gave the Poets their eighth berth to the state final, and a shot at a seventh crown against Wicomico (25-1) of Wicomico County, a 77-72 winner over Fort Hill of Cumberland in three overtimes, at 6 p.m. today

Minor suffered an ankle sprain with 50 seconds left in the game, falling to the ground after dribbling between two defenders. He lay squirming in pain for about 10 minutes, and was carried from the floor by trainers. He is expected to play tonight, however.

The Poets were able to survive the Hornets 6-foot-5 Kevin Jolley -- 33 points, 13 rebounds -- and 6-4 junior Chris McCray -- 19 points, all but two coming after halftime--thanks to yeoman efforts by 6-5 Reggie Cornell (nine points, 10 rebounds), 6-3 Steve Miller (eight, nine) and 6-6 Victor Molen (six, nine). That trio combined for 23 points and 28 rebounds.

Dunbar led 12-3 early, but only 16-12 at the start of the second period. That's when Robinson made his presence known, scoring 17 of the Poets' 23 points in the quarter. Robinson made his first six baskets, including five three-pointers. The 5-8 junior, wearing a knee brace on his right leg, single-handedly outscored Fairmont Heights (19-6) 14-2 to start the period to lift Dunbar to a 30-14 lead.

Robinson's fifth three-pointer made it 35-18, but the Hornets closed within 39-27 at halftime.

"After my second shot, J.T. [Taylor] just said to take over the game," said Robinson, who had surgery to repair a tear to an anterior cruciate ligament in September.

"We knew about Minor. We knew about Miller. We knew about Dunbar, but we didn't know about Robinson," said Fairmont Heights coach George Wake. "We kept trying to get somebody on him, but we didn't know the kid could shoot like that. He had a great quarter, but we didn't go away. We just couldn't stop the kid."

Minor landed consecutive three-pointers to start the third period as the Poets pushed their lead to 44-29. But the Hornets, led by McCray, closed to within 52-45 on McCray's three-pointer 45 seconds before the fourth. Robinson's buzzer-beating layup made it 54-45 to start the final period. Minor took over, scoring 10 of his 14 points in the quarter from the foul line.

FH--Jolley 33, McCray 19, Parham 10, Poston 1, Edmonds 4, Fraser 2, Campbell 2. Totals: 26 17-21 71. D--Cornell 9, Miller 8, Molen 6, Taylor 2, Minor 25, Robinson 26, Walker 4, Waddy 1. Totals: 25 23-30 81. Half: 39-27, D.

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