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Dunbar plays bad host
Defeats Coolidge boys, girls teams
(Published February 7, 2005)
By DAVID STEINBACHER
Special to The Common Denominator
To the delight of Crimson Tide fans, Dunbar played a bad host Feb. 1 by knocking off both the girls and boys varsity basketball teams from DCIAA West rival Coolidge.
The Tide derailed the Colts 60-23 in the boys game and the Lady Colts 71-41.
With the win, Dunbar's boys varsity squad, coached by Lorenzo Roach, improved to 18-5 overall (5-0 DCIAA West); with the loss, Coolidge, coached by Bryan Crumpton, dropped to 4-14 overall (1-4 DCIAA West).
The Lady Tiders, coached by Johnnie Walker, improved to 7-4 overall (3-2 DCIAA West); with the loss, the Lady Colts, coached by Patricia Frost, dropped to 2-8 overall (0-5 DCIAA West).
In the boys game, Dunbar cruised to an 18-8 first quarter lead and never looked back.
"We had a good start to the game. They turned the ball over quite a bit. We eventually changed our defense from a 1:3:1 to a 2:3 and that was key," said Dunbar Coach Roach (class of '93).
Nine separate players scored for the "Black and Red" in the opening stanza - led by senior forward James McDonald's three points. McDonald, signed by Penn State to play football (wide receiver), commented: "We came out on fire tonight. We got off to a quick start."
Things did not improve for the visiting "Orange and White" in the second stanza.
Dunbar outscored Coolidge 21-3 in the second quarter to take a commanding 39-11 advantage at halftime and essentially take the suspense out of the game.
Stated Dunbar senior post Alphonso Weatherspoon: "We put a lot of pressure on them and got them out of their game. We wanted to dictate the tempo tonight."
At intermission, sophomore guard Jamar Harrison (seven points) and freshman guard James Harrison (six points) were leading the Tide offensive production.
"We had too many turnovers from the guard position. We didn't get back in transition. Dunbar outhustled us tonight," said Coolidge Coach Crumpton.
The third quarter ended with Dunbar firmly in the driver's seat having taken a commanding 50-11 advantage (an 11-0 third quarter run).
Even though Coolidge outscored the hosts 12-10 in the fourth quarter, it was too little too late - and Dunbar prevailed 60-23 to claim their 18th victory of the season and their second victory of the season versus the Colts.
"Dunbar simply outplayed us tonight," said Coach Crumpton, who was assisted by Tony Dawson and Ollie Foster.
SPEARHEADING DUNBAR OFFENSIVELY: Harrison (12), Stewart (10), senior forward Anthony Ephraim (10 - six in fourth quarter), sophomore forward Nate Bussey (eight), McDonald (five), senior point guard Paul Wayne (four), senior post Alphonso Weatherspoon (four), senior forward Michael Craig (four) and senior guard Yaqoob Thurston (three).
"There is great senior leadership on this team - it is important in order to help out the younger guys. Coach keeps telling us to treat every game as if it was our last game. Our defense has really improved as the season has progressed," said senior guard Paul Wayne.
On the season, Wayne and Stewart lead Dunbar at nearly 14 points per game scoring average. McDonald - 13 ppg, Weatherspoon - 10 ppg and Harrison - eight ppg - follow closely behind. Weatherspoon - 11 rebounds per game and Ephraim - nine rpg - lead the Tide on the boards this season.
"Our big guys have been playing super this season," said Coach Roach, who was assisted by: Jermaine Clark, Truhan McCray and Curtis Richardson.
SPEARHEADING COOLIDGE OFFENSIVELY: senior post Chibuzor Okoro (seven), senior guard Leon Fields (six - all in fourth quarter), junior forward Lionel Coleman (four), senior guard Charles Anderson (two), senior forward Dion Wright-Nelson (two) and sophomore point guard Wayne Ouzts (two).
Stated Okoro: "We didn't protect the ball tonight and we didn't stop their pressure defense. This will be motivation for us in our next game versus Cardozo."
Okoro leads the Colts with 7.5 rebounds per game. Ouzts and Anderson lead the Colts on the season - both averaging nearly 10 points per game scoring.
NOTES: In addition to two victories in Los Angeles during the Christmas break, Dunbar has also defeated - DCIAA East foes: Anacostia (twice), School Without Walls, Eastern, Spingarn, HD Woodson, Ballou as well as
DCIAA West foes: Coolidge (twice), Roosevelt, MM Washington and Wilson as well as: Lake Clifton (Baltimore), Wilson (Texas), Watkins Mill (Maryland) and Walbrook (Baltimore).
Coolidge has defeated: DCIAA East foes: School Without Walls, Eastern and Spingarn as well as DCIAA West foe Roosevelt. (Coolidge has dropped a one point game to MM Washington and an overtime game to Cardozo).
Regarding the prospects of going "deep" into the DCIAA playoffs, Coach Roach commented: "We have to stay aggressive. We have to pressure the ball and cause turnovers. We have to allow our athletes to be athletes."
In the nightcap, Dunbar's girls led 17-6 after the first quarter was in the books, but Coolidge fought back.
The Lady Colts cut their deficit to 22-16, when sophomore forward Zaina Kamara (via an assist from senior point guard Ebony Smith) converted a layup (3:18 remaining second quarter).
Coolidge trailed by six points [24-18] when junior post Rickia Coates converted a layup (2:20 remaining second quarter). However, the "Black and Red" of Dunbar outscored the "Orange and White" of Coolidge 7-0 to close out the second quarter - to take a 31-18 advantage into intermission.
"Right before halftime, we had both Ebony Smith and Zaina Kamara sitting on the bench in foul trouble and that hurt," said Coach Frost.
Early in the third quarter, the Lady Colts shaved their deficit to 31-23, when senior guard Monique Davis converted both a layup and a free throw (6:12 remaining third). However, Dunbar freshman forward Selina Weekly converted the ensuing bucket - giving the Lady Tiders a 33-23 lead (5:49 remaining). From that point forward, Dunbar would lead Coolidge the remainder of the contest by double digits.
The Lady Tiders led the Lady Colts 45-26 after the third quarter was in the books. Dunbar outscored Coolidge 26-15 in the fourth quarter to prevail by the final margin of 71-41.
"I was happy with the effort. Our girls are pretty young. They played their hearts out and gutted out a pretty good game. All of the girls have made some progress this season. We're hoping for a good end to the season," said Coach Frost, assisted by Donna Smith.
"My kids hustled tonight and they played good defense. Give Coolidge credit - they are scrappy. Regarding the entire season, we've been a little 'up' and a little 'down.' We run an interchangeable offense and the girls for the most part have to know every position. A third place finish in the DCIAA West this season - is a realistic goal. For the most part, we are young and we're looking toward the future," said Coach Walker, assisted by Harry McAfee.
SPEARHEADING DUNBAR OFFENSIVELY: junior forward Sheena Sanders (16 points), sophomore guard Mesha Jones (16), freshman guard Brittany Logan (14), sophomore guard Mercedes Murphy (six), senior forward/post Erica Ransom (five), sophomore guard Virginia Rogers-Owens (five), Weekly (four - also 13 rebounds), freshman guard Ashley Gwaltney (three) and senior forward Alisha Hugee (two).
Said Sheena Sanders: "We played our game tonight. We passed the ball well and looked for better shots."
Mesha Jones commented: "Our defense has really improved over the course of the season. Our goal is to get to the championship this season."
Even though Brittany Logan is only a freshman, the ninth grader poured in 14 points and stated, "We concentrated on what we were suppose to do tonight. We all worked well together tonight."
SPEARHEADING COOLIDGE OFFENSIVELY: Kamara (19), Smith (seven), senior guard Monique Davis (seven), Coates (five) and senior guard Kia Mixon (three).
"We did our best tonight. Dunbar played well. We want to thank our coaches. There's always another game," said Zaina Kamara.
"Zaina's game has really progressed this season," said Coach Frost.
Kamara has averaged 12 points per game. Davis has averaged 10 ppg and Smith has averaged eight ppg this season. Kamara has averaged 10 rebounds per game this season. Smith has averaged four assists and 2.5 steals per
game this season.
NOTES: Dunbar has defeated DCIAA West foes: Coolidge (twice) and MM Washington as well as DCIAA East foes: Eastern and Spingarn as well as DC Charter School Booker T. Washington and also DuVal (Maryland). Coolidge has defeated DCIAA East foes Eastern and Spingarn this season.
Copyright 2005 The Common Denominator