Dunbar's girls waste no time, 48-36

Poets take quick lead, keep up heat against off-target Milford Mill

Mayor's Basketball Academy Tournament

High Schools

January 18, 2002|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

With six appearances in the state semifinals between them over the past four seasons, last night's matchup between the girls teams of Dunbar and Milford Mill had, on paper, the makings of a March classic. Then came the opening tip.

The No. 11 Poets put Milford Mill in an early hole and cruised to a 48-36 decision in the Mayor's Basketball Academy Tournament at the Coppin Center.

Toni Kennedy scored a game-high 14 points for Dunbar (12-1), and Bianca Sullivan added 10. Chelsea Jeter led Milford Mill (10-4) with 10.

The Poets, in pursuit of the state 1A title after winning back-to-back 2A championships, opened with nine straight points and led 28-15 at halftime.

"We started out well, but went into a deep lull in the third quarter. We couldn't do anything," said Dunbar coach Wardell Selby. "I think the experience of playing in front of a crowd like this really helped us."

The Poets were able to fend off a couple of runs by Milford Mill, the four-time defending 3A North region champions, in the final quarter. The Millers twice got within nine points, thanks in part to strong rebounding, but inopportune turnovers negated any hopes of a comeback.

"We were impatient and rushed everything," said Milford Mill freshman guard Tammie Rogers, one of five starting underclassmen. "Our defensive play was successful, but not our offense. Everybody played team defense."

Milford Mill trailed 40-31 with 5:19 remaining in regulation after a layup by Jeter, but turned the ball over after a defensive stand against Dunbar. Shalane Price slipped through for a layup, starting a 5-0 run for the Poets, advancing their lead to 45-31.

Kennedy said the Poets' quick start was crucial.

"We wanted to get a good start, just like we did," said Kennedy. "We know Milford Mill is a dangerous team if you let them hang around. They got quick guards, so you have to keep control of the game."

Poor shooting doomed the Millers, who missed 27 of 33 attempts in the opening half. The Millers didn't get their first basket until a layup by Jeter midway through the first quarter.

The Poets led 10-2 at the end of the first quarter, an advantage that grew to 25-9 late in the second period after a three-pointer by Kennedy. Dunbar, which plays No. 19 Woodlawn tomorrow morning, maintained the double-digit lead until the Millers' brief run in the last period.

"We couldn't put the ball in the hole," said Milford Mill coach Pam Wright. "We were missing the outside shot, so let's take the ball to the basket. We didn't do that enough."

Woodlawn got off to a horrible start against Southside Academy, which is in its first year as a varsity program, going scoreless in the opening quarter. But the Warriors made it up in the final three quarters, taking a 53-38 decision.

Sophomore Tiara Waddy scored 14 points for Woodlawn (11-4), which outscored the Jaguars 32-20 in the second half. The Warriors were playing their second game in as many days, needing overtime to turn back Eastern Tech, 57-54, Wednesday evening.

"I think it took some time for us to get use to the floor and get a feel," said Woodlawn's third-year coach, DeWayne Burroughs. "We didn't take care of the ball."

Angelea Speight led all scorers with 17 points for Southside (7-2), which is coached by former Walbrook and University of Maryland standout Daphne Lee.

In boys action, No. 10 Mervo ended a two-game losing streak with a 62-43 victory over Dundalk. Junior forward Paul Frazier led the Mustangs (10-5) with 22 points.

Trailing by 11 at halftime, Southwestern's boys rallied for a 61-56 victory over Edgewood. Sherrick Spruill spearheaded the Sabers' comeback with a game-high 27 points. Jason Hicks contributed 15.

Senior forward Eric Freeman scored five of his game-high 22 points in overtime, helping Northwestern (8-5) to 61-55 win over Towson Catholic in the final game. Phil Hahn led Towson Catholic (5-10) with 15 points.

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