Dunbar overwhelms Loch Raven, 75-27, with 12 players scoring

Pocomoke next as Poets seek 4th state title in row

Class 1A girls basketball

High schools

March 15, 2003|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Dunbar's girls basketball team has been impossible to beat at home over the last five years, and the Poets have extended that home-court advantage to include UMBC's RAC Arena court.

With last night's 75-27 victory over Loch Raven in a state Class 1A semifinal, the Poets extended their state-tournament winning streak to seven games.

Nikina Hill scored 14 points to lead the Poets, who remained unbeaten in state-tournament play and are looking to become only the second team in tournament history to win more than three state crowns in a row.

The Poets (22-4) will meet Pocomoke, a 61-47 winner over Smithsburg yesterday, in today's 6 p.m. state final.

If they can get past the Warriors (24-1), they will come within one of the tournament record of five straight titles, set by now-closed Brooklyn Park in the late 1980s.

With the victory, the Poets continued to make UMBC their home away from home - a good deal considering Dunbar has not lost a game in its East Baltimore gym in five years, running its consecutive victories streak to 67 with its regional semifinal win over Southside.

The overmatched Raiders, winners of Baltimore County's Division III, simply hadn't seen anything quite like the defensive pressure Dunbar threw at them last night.

The Raiders (16-5) did not score a field goal until 21 seconds into the second half.

The Poets shut down the outside shooting of guards Laura Queen and Liz Entwisle. The pair had combined for 65 three-pointers this season and hit seven each during the regional playoffs, but Queen, who led Loch Raven with 13 points, hit two just three-pointers last night, and Leilani Kim hit one.

By late in the first half, Dunbar had run up a 10-point lead and the Poets boosted that to 30-5 by the end of the half. The Poets converted five Raiders turnovers to finish off the half with an 8-0 run.

After the break, the Raiders cut the lead to 30-10 on a five-point opening run sparked by Megan Battle, scoring their first field goal of the game. But the Poets answered with a couple of Shalane Price free throws, and then Price and Jolunda Leake converted consecutive turnovers to stall Loch Raven's rally.

Even after Dunbar coach Wardell Selby called off the press for the second half, the Poets continued to roll up transition buckets. Thirteen of 14 Poets scored. Price had 12 points and three steals, and Ashley Chase had eight points and five steals.

LR-Entwistle 3, Battle 7, Queen 13, Askey 1, Kim 3. Totals 8 3-11 27. D-Henderson 3, Leake 5, Price 12, Jones 5, Oliver 3, Hill 14, Johnson 3, Sullivan 7, Woody 4, Chase 8, Gladden 7, Davis 2, Monroe 2. Totals 30 13-21 75. Half: D, 30-5.

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