Evan Singletary helped the Dunbar offense awaken at just the right time Monday night.
Singletary scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter as No. 4 Dunbar rallied from an early 11-point deficit and pulled out a 60-56 victory over No. 13 Lake Clifton.
The Poets scored just 36 points in the first three quarters but still held a one-point lead over the host Lakers heading into the fourth. That's when Singletary and Dunbar began to click, as the Poets notched 24 points in the final quarter.
Singletary drilled a three-point shot that gave Dunbar (5-0, 3-0) the lead for good at 43-42 with 5:15 left. He also added two free throws and a beautiful spinning lay-up in traffic to finish with seven points in Dunbar's 9-0 run that put the Poets in command with a 49-42 lead.
"He was huge," said Dunbar coach Cyrus Jones.
Singletary couldn't find his shot in the first three quarters but remained patient, something Jones preaches to his team. The guard made two key shots from the field and also went 4-for-5 from the free-throw line.
The three-point shot really took away some of Lake Clifton's momentum because Aaron Parks had just hit two straight 3-point shots for the Lakers, which got the home crowd fired up again. Singletary's basket quieted them.
"I just found my stroke in the fourth quarter," Singletary said. "I got into a rhythm more."
Guard/forward Gavin Pettiford also helped in that fourth quarter. He scored six of his 14 points and combined with Singletary to help the Poets bounce back and stay unbeaten.
Pettiford and Poets did a good job of remaining patient on offense and putting the troubles of the first three quarters behind them. Dunbar became much more effective on offense and outscored Lake Clifton (3-2, 3-2), 20-14 in the closing minutes.
"It was patience and poise," Pettiford said. "We just stayed together and had patience."
They needed it after the slow start. Lake Clifton raced to a 13-2 lead in the first quarter, as Dunbar couldn't get going on offense. The Poets then began to rally and cut the lead to 23-21 at halftime.
Jones had the Poets make some changes on defense and offense in the second half. They stopped pressing full-court, got back on defense and sped up the tempo a bit on offense.
"They started good, but we finished," Jones said.
Daquan Ross led Lake Clifton with 15 points, and Parks added 12 as the Lakers stayed close throughout. But they couldn't bounce back after that 9-0 run in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers cut the lead to four but couldn't get any closer.
"Dunbar played better," Lake Clifton coach Herman "Tree" Harried said. "Dunbar outplayed us."