Dunbar roars to 116-41 victory

In first Cole appearance, Chesapeake-BC routed

Boys Class 1A semifinals

High School Basketball

March 09, 2002|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

COLLEGE PARK - They barely got acquainted with Cole Field House before the Dunbar boys basketball team showed them the door - and then slammed it in their faces.

After making a surprising postseason run to earn their first appearance at Cole, the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Baltimore County were dismantled by the No. 5 Poets, 116-41, yesterday in the Class 1A state basketball semifinals.

Dunbar moved within a game of its eighth state championship and will play Pocomoke of Worcester County in the 1A final at 1 p.m. today at Cole Field House. Pocomoke defeated South Hagerstown, 82-58, in the early semifinal yesterday.

After winning the first regional championship since 1995 in any sport, Chesapeake ran into a Poets squad looking to redeem itself after a lackluster conclusion to its regular season. Twelve players scored for Dunbar, with senior guard Jujuan Robinson leading everyone with 21 points.

"Our first time being at Cole Field House, you could see there was nervous jitters," said Chesapeake coach Matthew Mackey, whose team finished 15-12. "They have so much experience, they're the favorites."

The Poets (21-5), who won seven 2A titles, dropped to 1A this season and are considered a heavy favorite to capture the championship. Dunbar coach Eric Lee said he has been concerned in recent weeks about the defensive output especially after losing back-to-back home games against No. 1 Douglass.

Dunbar went right after the Bayhawks, forcing 37 turnovers. Junior center Michael Thompson had eight blocks and a team-high 11 rebounds for the Poets.

"We've been doing a lot better, defensively, since losing the city championship," Robinson said. "We knew nothing at all about them [Chesapeake]. Because of our name, there are high standards and expectations of us."

Dunbar went on a 13-0 run in the opening quarter to establish a 23-8 advantage. It was 31-14 after a basket by Chesapeake's Brandon Holifield. Then it got worse. The Poets ran off the next 28 points, increasing their margin to 59-14 before Raymond Fields ended the run with a basket with 12.4 seconds left in the first half. The Bayhawks ended the half on a positive note as a steal by Juan Wilkes was converted into a layup by Anthony Fortune at the buzzer. Dunbar hit the 100-point barrier midway through the final quarter with its reserves. James Taylor contributed 18 points for the Poets, and Byron Selby had 11 points and four rebounds.

Despite the conclusion, Chesapeake hopes to build on its playoff run for next season. The Bayhawks lose three starters, but have leading scorer Anthony Boyce returning and Holifield.

"It's a major step for our program," said Mackey, whose team shot 13-for-71. "To be in this atmosphere for the last year of Cole, it was quite an experience. We're proud that we did our best, and we think we can get back here next year."

The Poets should confront a much tougher task in Pocomoke today. The Warriors (24-2) shot 54 percent from the field (31-for-57) in their semifinal victory over South Hagerstown and are riding a 13-game winning streak.

"It's very important for us to come in tomorrow [today] and win," Taylor said. "We want to finish on a high note. To not win is not acceptable at all."

DUNBAR-Taylor 18, Robinson 21, Barksdale 9, Hayes 6, York 9, Thompson 8, Roundtree 5, Frederick 8, Waddy 4, Valentine 9, Selby 11, Blue 6, Maybank 2. Totals 45 19-29 116. CHESAPEAKE-BC-Diggs 7, Fields 6, Boyce 8, Holifield 5, Wilkes 3, Whye 3, Fortune 4, Lee 2, Wright 1, Tucker 2. Totals 13 14-23 41. Half: D, 59-18.

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