Mervo's Wade ends Dunbar jinx, 66-48

No. 2 Poets fall

coach tops alma mater for first time

Boys basketball

January 29, 2003|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

As a player on Dunbar's 1984-85 mythical national championship team, Daryl Wade is familiar with winning. He also had become familiar with losing to the traditionally powerful Poets since becoming a varsity basketball coach.

But Wade finally beat Dunbar yesterday as No. 10 Mervo knocked off the second-ranked Poets, 66-48, in a Baltimore City Division I game. It was the first victory over the Poets in eight tries for Wade, who's in his third season at Mervo after a five-year stint at City.

"The kids really played well," Wade said. "I'm really proud of their performance. Even when we got sloppy and turned the ball over, we were able to regain our composure."

Mervo (13-4 overall, 5-1 league) kept its hopes alive in Division I and sent Dunbar (15-2, 6-2) to its first loss in 15 games. With division losses to Lake Clifton (4-0 in Division I) and Mervo, Dunbar likely will miss the city title game for the first time since the 1996-97 season.

Mustangs senior guard Joseph Marshall scored a game-high 20 points, with junior backcourt mate Chester Frazier chipping in with 18 points and 13 assists.

Senior guard Maurice Barksdale led the Poets with 11 points, and Camontae Griffin had 10.

"We thought the key was defensively stopping Maurice Barksdale and Herman Hayes," said Frazier, whose team limited the Poets' guards to 19 points. "We executed well on offense."

That wasn't the case last week for the Mustangs, who had their worst showing of the season in a 50-43 setback at Lake Clifton. Wade said his team played just well enough to post victories over Walbrook and Northwestern, but Mervo raised its level yesterday before a sellout home audience.

"We needed this win to established ourselves," said Frazier, whose team will play Patterson tomorrow before traveling to meet No. 1 Douglass on Tuesday. "People were doubting us, but Coach pushed us hard in practice."

Leading 28-21 at halftime, Mervo gained command early in the third quarter, outscoring the Poets 17-11 to build a 13-point advantage. Wade also credited All-City/County forward Paul Frazier, who had eight points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

Frazier, a 6-foot-3 junior, scored all of his points in the opening quarter, helping Mervo take a 13-10 lead. The Mustangs outscored the Poets 15-11 in the second quarter as Marshall scored eight.

Marshall, a 5-11 senior, sparked Mervo with 12 points in the final 16 minutes.

"We just missed a lot of shots," said Dunbar coach Eric Lee, whose team will play host to Walbrook tomorrow. "They hit their shots and we missed ours - plain and simple."

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