Dunbar's 2nd wind blows out Poolesville

Class 1A boys basketball

March 03, 2002|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After an unexpectedly close victory over Oakland Mills in the Class 1A South Regional semifinals, the fifth-ranked Dunbar boys basketball team struggled again last night during the first half of the region final against unheralded Poolesville of Montgomery County.

Then the second half started.

The Poets hit 22 of 28 shots over the first 10:30 of the second half. With four players scoring in double figures, Dunbar turned an eight-point halftime lead into a 99-62 dismantling of visiting Poolesville to win its ninth regional title in 10 years.

Dunbar (20-5), which is two victories away from its sixth state title since 1993, will play Chesapeake of Baltimore County, a 45-41 winner over North East of Cecil County, in the 1A state semifinals at 5 p.m. Friday at Cole Field House in College Park.

"We're not overconfident," Dunbar coach Eric Lee said. " ... Our game plan was to feel our way through it the first half; [in the] second half, see if we could put them away. That's what we did."

Senior guard James Taylor scored a game-high 22 points for Dunbar. Seniors Jimmy Ward and Chris Reed scored 12 apiece for Poolesville (15-10), which started the season 1-6 before winning 14 of 17 to reach the regional final.

Poolesville stayed close in the first half by playing a 3-2 zone defense and slowing the tempo to a half-court game. The Indians were as close as six with 1:30 left in the second quarter and trailed 33-25 at halftime.

But once the second half started, it was all Dunbar. The Poets shot 15-for-19 in the third quarter. They outscored Poolesville 34-14 during that stretch to take a 67-39 lead.

Said Poolesville coach Larry Hurd: "There's nobody in the state, I don't care at what level, who is going to play with [Dunbar] when they bring the level that they brought in the second half."

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