Dunbar's Iakeem Alston, left, is fouled by Edmondson's… (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore…)
In the fourth quarter of Tuesday's boys basketball showdown against visiting Dunbar, Edmondson's senior backcourt tandem of Kavon Pyatt and Rodney Pratcher did all the little things needed to keep a safe distance and bring home another win.
When the No. 6 Poets cut the deficit to three points with a couple of quick baskets in the final two minutes, Pyatt did something big.
Pyatt charged the rim and followed a miss with an emphatic dunk -- rocking the home gym and restoring order to help lift the No. 5 Red Storm to a 70-66 in Baltimore City league play.
Edmondson improved to 13-1 on the season and 5-0 in league play, handing Dunbar (13-1, 4-1) its first loss of the season.
Pratcher finished with a game-high 22 points, had a couple of key assists early in the fourth quarter and played hassling defense. Pyatt had 18 points, hitting four straight free throws in the final minutes, and was good for eight points in the decisive fourth quarter. No two were bigger than his crowd-pleasing jam, which came with 42 seconds left for a 68-63 lead.
The Poets would get a 3-pointer from guard Evan Singletary (17 points) with six seconds left -- cutting the lead to 69-66 -- but Devon Graham would hit a free throw with four seconds left to seal the victory for the Red Storm.
"Man, it was the best feeling," Pyatt said. "At the end of the game, we just played hard and shut them down, shut their key players down and that was it -- it took the heart out of them."
The Red Storm took a 55-48 lead when Pratcher found Pyatt inside with 7:34 left to play. But the Poets would follow with a 7-2 run, with Iakeem Alston (team-high 19 points) converting a three-point play to cut the Edmondson lead to 57-55 with 4:23 left.
That's when Edmondson's experienced backcourt took control. Pratcher and Pyatt combined to score the Red Storm's next 11 points -- Pratcher scoring the first two with a relentless drive to answer Alston and Pyatt closing it out with the dunk.
"They're battle-tested, they're seniors, and they've been playing together for four years," Edmondson coach Darnell Dantzler said. "When I called a timeout and put the ball in their hands, I told them, 'I need them to lead us to this victory.' They played well, hit foul-line shots down the stretch and we ended up pulling it off. I'm proud of them."
The Red Storm also got a key contribution from sophomore guard Darius Walker, who finished with 10 points and also played tough defense.