October 23, 2017

Boys hoops: No. 17 Dunbar clamps down defensively to upend No. 12 Lake Clifton

Photo credit: Troy Queen/Sports Majors.

After Andre Rafus sank Dunbar three weeks ago with 30 points, including the game -3-pointer, Dunbar knew they would have their hands full with the blue chip 6-foot-10 forward the second time around on Tuesday night.

“It was a major focus coming into the game,” Dunbar coach Cyrus Jones, Sr., said of Rafus. “We came out the first time during the regular season and we basically lost focus of him, and allowed him to run wild and run loose, and get easy shots and make plays for them. … So we just tried to make sure we had a body on him at all times, and try to make someone else beat us.”

On Tuesday night, No. 17 Dunbar played gridlock defense this time around, holding Rafus (offers from Georgetown and Kansas) to only seven total points, scoring just two in the first half, while beating No. 12 Lake Clifton 51-46, advancing to the Class 2A North Section I final against Baltimore City foe Patterson.

“Just keep playing defense, and everything else will fall into place,” Poets guard Dashawn Phillip said.

Just like the matchup earlier in the month, when Lake Clifton nipped Dunbar 58-56, this game was also a nail-bitter up to the final 10 seconds, except a big difference-maker is the Lakers were without starting guard Rasheed Brown.

The Poets led the Lakers 11-10 after the first quarter. After multiple lead changes, Dunbar led 22-19 at halftime after Tymu Chenery’s (10 points) 3 at the second quarter buzzer.

Things got more interesting in the third quarter, however. With a little over three minutes left in the third, Rafus gave the Lakers the lead, 28-27, before Dunbar senior guard Damonte Moore hit a 3 to push the Poets back in front, 36-34.

The Lakers opened the fourth quarter on a 6-2 run, regaining the lead, after freshman Michael Gray (10 Points) made three consecutive layups, but then injured his wrist and didn’t return.

Both teams were locked in a stalemate at 46-all until Lake Clifton guard Steven Parker was called for a carry in the Lakers backcourt. Taking advantage of the turnover, Moore (12 Points) got fouled on a drive to the basket and made two free throws to give the Poets a 48-46 lead with less than a minute left in the game.

On the following Laker possession, they turned the ball over again, giving it right back to the Poets with 35 seconds to go. On the inbounds for Dunbar, Phillips (10 points) got the ball stripped by the Lake Clifton and the Lakers regained possession with 25 seconds left.

With an opportunity for the last shot, and needing just a 2-point bucket to tie the game up, the Lakers called a timeout to strategize their next play.

With time ticking down, around 11 seconds, Benjamin Carter (five points) received a screen and an open look for a mid-range jumper from the right elbow, but missed it off the front the rim. Q.L. Giles came away with the rebound, immediately getting fouled, heading to the line.

Fighting through the pressure, Giles made both free throws, which were his only two points of the game. His free throws extended the Poets lead to 50-46, and preserved the win.

“Coach had us in practice everyday working on free throws, and my teammates were telling me to knock down the free throws; shoot like I did in practice,” Giles said.

Dunbar will travel to Patterson on Thursday, March 2, with tipoff set for 5:30 p.m. Earlier this season, the Poets fell short to the Clippers, 49-47, setting up another nail-bitter.

About Evan Engelhard 65 Articles
Evan Engelhard is a graduate from Linganore High School’s class of 2012. In high school he attended a two year program for TV/Multi-Media Production at the Frederick County Career and Technology Center from 2010-2012. There he received a certification in TV/Multi-Media. While in attendance Engelhard won first place in the Skills U.S.A. 30 second commercial contest for region six in Maryland. He also was a member of the Linganore High School varsity football team from 2010-2012. Since then Engelhard has been attending Frederick Community College for close to two years. He is working on an associates degree in digital media and is close to achieving another certificate in television production. Engelhard is set to graduate in the spring of 2017. Engelhard recently spent time as a freelance videographer/editor for SENTelevison.com. He would film and edit game footage into highlight packages. He would also co-produce shows for their web series. Engelhard has just started interning for the City of Frederick’s Audio and Visual Department. Although this is a government channel and not sports related, he is expanding his resume and range of work. Engelhard has worked on photography, vidoegraphy, and graphic design projects where he has used many different editing programs such as, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premier, and Final Cut Pro. Engelhard has worked in many professional studios and settings for the past six years Engelhard has future plans to transfer to Towson University to pursue a Bachelors Degree in Electronic Film production. He also has goals of achieving a production assistant job at a local sports network in Maryland such as Comcast Sports Net.

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