Dunbar wins city title, 67-62 over Walbrook

Kennedy's 3rd-quarter run helps Dunbar turn back rejuvenated Warriors

Girls basketball

High School

February 20, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

A year ago, Dunbar was heavily favored when it suffered a two-point loss to Western in its bid for a second straight Baltimore City crown. The Lady Poets' Toni Kennedy said she watched the replay of the game before yesterday's city title game with visiting Walbrook.

"I watched the tape last night, thought about how bad I felt," the senior guard said. "I wanted to come in today and play my heart out so it didn't happen again."

Kennedy did just that in a closer-than-expected 67-62 victory over Walbrook, scoring 13 of her 20 points in the second half as the Lady Poets (22-1) won for the 16th consecutive time and extended their home winning streak to 44 straight games in capturing the city championship.

Center Sierra Jones scored 10 of her 14 points in the first period for Dunbar when Kennedy was held scoreless. But in a game that was tied eight times, the final time at 42 just before the fourth quarter, Kennedy emerged in the third period. She scored 11 of her team's 19 third-quarter points - including three three-pointers - as the Poets erased a 34-32 halftime deficit.

"We rode Sierra in the first half, and she really carried us," said Kennedy, who also got help from Shelane Price (11 points) and Jolunda Leake (nine). "We know Walbrook and they know us, so, of course they're going to key on me, thinking every thing runs through me."

The game bore little resemblance to the first meeting between the two, when Dunbar routed the Warriors, 78-35.

Walbrook (18-5) was led by Lakiesha Major's game-high 24 points, with help from Lachon Holley (10 points) and Renee Jones (nine). Kitrice Carr and Tabitha Timmons added eight points apiece for the Warriors.

"I preached that they need to believe in themselves. We have a lot of talent, and once they believed, we came together," said Walbrook coach Yolanda Jackson. "This is an emotional pickup going into the playoffs because they showed they can play."

Timmons capped an 11-0 Warriors run with a buzzer-beating jumper for the halftime lead. She later nailed a three-pointer to bring Walbrook to 64-60 with 28 seconds to play and a fallaway jumper in the lane with 10 seconds left to make it 65-62.

"When you lose by the score they lost by the first time, you knew they had a lot of pride," said Dunbar coach Wardell Selby. "They came to play, but we showed a lot of character by staying together."

Dunbar went a school-record 25-1 in 2000, capturing its first city title and its first of two straight Class 2A state titles. The Lady Poets shoot for their first 1A state title beginning with this weekend's playoffs.

"It feels good to win tonight," Kennedy said. "We've got one more to go with the states. We want to win it all.

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