Southern rallies past Dunbar, 57-49

Unbeaten Bulldogs face Douglass in tomorrow's Unseld Classic title game

Boys basketball

High Schools

December 28, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Southern of Baltimore feels it hasn't gotten the proper respect in the area. But that's changing fast.

Reggie Holmes scored 10 of his game-high 20 points to spark a fourth-quarter run that helped No. 14 Southern rally to a 57-49 victory over No. 6 Dunbar last night in a Wes Unseld Classic semifinal game at CCBC-Catonsville.

Southern (7-0) was coming off a thrilling, 63-62 victory over No. 13 Randallstown -- the tournament's defending champion -- in Friday's first-round game.

The Bulldogs are set to face No. 7 Douglass in tomorrow's championship game at 8 p.m.

The win kept alive Southern's dreams of a perfect season and continued letting the Bulldogs demonstrate their feelings of belonging among the area's best teams.

"This was personal for us," Southern coach Michael Wise said. "They felt they had to prove to the [area] that they're better than the critics gave them credit for."

The Bulldogs appeared in trouble when Nathan Irby scored seven of his team-high 13 points to help Dunbar close the third quarter with a 12-point run and a 40-32 lead. The Poets scored those points in the final 1:45 of the period and appeared to be in command.

But Southern rallied and scored the first 14 points of the fourth quarter for a 46-40 lead with 4:23 left. The Bulldogs, who scored only 32 points in the first three quarters, outscored Dunbar (3-1) by a 25-9 margin in the final period.

Holmes hit two key three-pointers en route to his 10 points in the quarter. He also finished with 15 in the second half as Southern pulled away.

"We want to go undefeated," Holmes said. "We know we're not soft."

Deshawn Williams added 12 points for Southern. Dunbar also got help from Barry Jenifer (11 points) and Byron Roundtree (10 points), but its fourth-quarter problems proved too much to overcome against an aggressive Southern team.

Douglass 55, Northwestern 43: The No. 7 Ducks advanced to tomorrow's championship game with a late rally over a stubborn Wildcats team.

The Ducks held Northwestern scoreless for the final 4:20 and scored the game's last 11 points. Jermaine Bolden scored 14 of his team-high 19 in the second half as Douglass (4-1) slowly pulled away.

Northwestern played tough defense, and Douglass had problems finding good shots. But the Ducks slowed the tempo in the second half and began finding more high-percentage shots in the final minutes.

"That was interesting," Douglass coach Rodney Coffield said. "They played well, and we had to weather the storm."

The game went back and forth throughout the second half. Northwestern's Pat Seymore scored a game-high 20 points to help the Wildcats stay close. Seymore's follow-up dunk with 4:20 left cut the Douglass lead to 44-43.

But point guard Divine Morris ran the offense nicely for Douglass as the Ducks went to the old four-corner offense. Morris helped Douglass eat up lots of time and disrupt the Northwestern offense and defense.

Bolden took a Morris pass and hit a three-pointer for a 47-43 lead with 4:01 left. The Ducks then ran off a chunk of time before Bolden scored on a follow-up for a 49-43 lead with 1:21 remaining.

"I was just trying to take over the game," said Bolden, a guard. "I was trying to keep my team in [command]."

The Wildcats had chances but missed a number of high-percentage shots throughout the second half. Northwestern scored only six points in the final nine minutes.

Darryl Clarke added 15 points for Douglass, and Tre Love scored 10 for the Ducks. Seymore scored 14 of his 20 in the first half -- but no other Wildcat finished in double figures.

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