Dunbar girls upset No. 3 Joppatowne in 1A state semifinal

  • Dunbar players react as they extend the lead over Joppatowne.
Dunbar players react as they extend the lead over Joppatowne. (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl…)
March 11, 2011|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

Dunbar's girls basketball team planned all along to look inside for its advantage over defending Class 1A state champion Joppatowne Friday night. Between 6-foot-3 Oma-ah Tayong and 5-foot-9 Michelle Wight, that strategy worked perfectly.

Tayong and Wright combined for 41 points as the No. 9 Poets dominated the paint and shut off No. 3 Joppatowne's running game en route to a 62-54 upset in the state semifinals at UMBC's RAC Arena.

"When we rebound and do our job, no one can stop us," Tayong, a senior center who had 15 points and 15 rebounds, said.

In knocking out the only defending champion to reach the final four, coach Wardell Selby's Poets (19-4) scored 38 points in the paint and 20 on second chances. They advance to Saturday's 6 p.m. state final, when they will try to add to the four titles they won between 2000 and 2003 against Northern of Garrett County, a 65-47 winner over Mardela in the other semifinal.

The Mariners (24-2) got the early jump and led by nine a minute into the third quarter when Quay Malloy fed Shakara Head for a 31-22 edge, but the Poets chipped away and tied the game six times between the midpoints of the third and fourth quarters.

Wright, a junior forward who finished with 26 points and eight rebounds, hit a follow shot with 4:53 left that gave the Poets, who were state semifinalists last year, their first lead, 49-47. Joppatowne guard Zameria Jones then hit a 17-footer to tie.

Dunbar took the lead back on a couple of Wright free throws and held it for good, thanks in part to hitting 11 of 16 free throws down the stretch, including five of six from Shy'lia Buie.

With 1:22 left, Malloy hit a long 3-pointer to pull the Mariners within 55-54, but Shanette Parker hit two free throws and Candace DeShields assisted Wright for a layup and a 59-54 lead that all but sealed it with 46 seconds to go.

The Mariners turned the ball over 25 times and never got their transition game in gear. Jones finished with 15 points and Lakia Huff had 13, but Joppatowne did not score a single point in transition.

"The thing that really hurt us was when we did finally get the rebound, we didn't execute on our outlets the way we should have," Joppatowne coach Michael Harris said. "[The Poets] had really quick hands and they got in there and the officials were letting us play and we missed some opportunities there."


J—Malloy 10, Z.Jones 15, Head 12, Scott 1, Huff 13, Torville 3. Totals 21 6-14 54.

D—Parker 6. Buie 8, DeShields 4, Prilliman 3, Wright 26, Tayong 15. Totals 21 18-24 62. Half: J, 27-22.

    Baltimore Sun Articles
    Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.