Dunbar girls bounce back, beats City, 44-34, to move into three-way tie for first

No. 11 Poets use inside game, stingy defense to hand Knights their first city loss

February 11, 2011|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

With five teams still in contention in the Baltimore City Division I girls basketball race, two losses in a row could doom one of those contenders.

Dunbar's girls understood that.

After falling to No. 14 Western on Tuesday, the No. 11 Poets needed a win Friday against City to pull into a three-way tie atop the division standings. Thanks to strong defense and timely shooting, the host Poets took a 44-34 victory and dealt the Knights their first city loss.

"We needed a win here, because we felt we should have never lost (to Western)," Dunbar senior guard Candace DeShields said. "We play together and there ain't no team like us. We're all different. It's not one player that's the best. Certain teams have one good player, but we're all good and when we play together, we pull it out."

Dunbar's win along with No. 7 Poly's 42-40 victory over No. 8 Digital Harbor Friday leaves a three-way tie atop the division. Dunbar, City and Poly are all 7-1 with two games to go, including City vs. Poly on Friday. The top two teams will advance to the city title game.

Friday, the Knights (10-7) were within 25-21 midway through the third quarter when the Poets (11-5) began to pull away. Brianna Lawson sparked a 10-3 run by feeding Michelle Wright for a layup and then Shamar Prilliman fed Oma-ah Tayong for another. Lawson and DeShields hit back-to-back three pointers to boost the Dunbar lead to 35-24 by the end of the quarter.

City went more than nine minutes without a basket, thanks in part to a box-and-one defense that put Lawson on the Knights' floor leader Dyzhaney Burton (10 points).

With just over a minute left in the game, Burton's 12-footer and Tyla Bates' 16-footer brought the Knights within 40-34, but Wright found Lawson open for a baseline jumper that broke City's momentum.

The Poets got the better of the inside game with 6-foot-3 Tayong, who scored a game-high 14 points despite second-half foul trouble. City's duo of 6-foot-1 post players Chelsea Eldridge and Dominique Dawson combined for 14 points.

"This is the first team that really beat us a little bit with height," City coach George Petrides said. "We're pretty big inside, but they threw overtop of us a couple times."

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

C—Burton 10, Palmer 4, Bates 6, Eldridge 10, Dawson 4. Totals 10 14-30 34.

D—DeShields 11, Wright 8, Tayong 14, Lawson 11. Totals 16 6-14 44. Half: D, 20-15.

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