'Cats settle for second

Dunbar a little too good for Williamsport in Class 1A final

March 12, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE |
  • Williamsport boys basketball coach Scott Mowbray yells out instructions as Xavier Green, foreground, handles the ball during Saturday's Maryland Class 1A state final.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — After individual awards were presented to his players Saturday afternoon at Comcast Center, Williamsport boys basketball coach Scott Mowbray accepted the trophy as the second-place team in Maryland Class 1A.

He held it above his head toward the large contingent of Williamsport fans who traveled to College Park, only to see the Wildcats fall 64-43 to Dunbar in the Class 1A state championship game.

“We have nothing to be ashamed of,” said Mowbray. “I think we showed we belonged down here.”

After a 67-48 victory over Pocomoke in the state semifinals on Friday, Williamsport (23-4) had 18 hours — and two 90-minute trips — before a showdown with the Poets, a Baltimore city team that had a slightly longer down time between games and much shorter trips.

Dunbar (24-3), which won its 13th state title and second straight, proved a daunting task for the Wildcats, who won their only state title in 1948 and had not been in a state final since 1996.

Devante Wallace led the Poets with 23 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists.

“I don’t know if No. 23 (Wallace) is going anywhere in college, and if he isn’t, he should be,” said Mowbray.

The Wildcats stood strong and tall early, for about seven minutes at the outset. A 3-pointer by Stephen Christy gave Williamsport an 8-5 lead. Two free throws by Wallace tied the game at 12 with 1:10 left in the opening frame.

Dunbar took advantage of a Wildcats miss and two turnovers, scoring the next seven points for a 19-12 lead. That run began to set the tone, even though Williamsport stayed in touch through the second period and trailed by only eight, 31-23, at halftime.

Aaron Parham started the third quarter with a three-point play, and after Christy answered by dropping in a goal, Dunbar used a 6-0 run to take a 40-25 lead with 5:44 left in the quarter. From there, it was only a matter of time until Dunbar etched its 13th state title in stone.

Wallace and Parham combined to score 16 of the Poets’ 19 points in the quarter, which ended with Dunbar leading 50-36.

“Their overall quickness got us,” said Mowbray. “We got so tired. Nutrition got us. Dunbar is a very good team.”

The Poets didn’t shoot as well as they did in the semis on Friday, making just 43 percent. But neither did Williamsport, which hit only 36 percent of its 45 shots, the majority coming from outside.

Taking advantage of superior strength and positioning, Dunbar outrebounded Williamsport 45-25, which created an immense amount of pressure on the Wildcats in transition.

“They made us work so hard because they were so quick with their feet on defense,” said Connor Arnone. “They extended our offense.”

McCauley led the ’Cats with 13 points, hitting 3 of 6 beyond the arc. Christy added 10 points and tied Tyler Wise with seven rebounds.

“We were blessed to be here and to see the community follow us down here,” said Arnone, one of four starters who will graduate.

“We had a great season,” said Christy, another senior who played his final game. “It would have been better to tell our grandkids we won.”

Parham finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds to support Wallace.

“I thought one of the keys was our defense picking up on their screens and making it difficult for them,” said Dunbar coach Cyrus Jones. “This is great having lost 10 seniors from last season. Baltimore city basketball gets us ready for this.”


Dunbar 64, Williamsport 43
DUNBAR (24-3)
Singletary 3-9 4-4 11, Parham 7-13 1-2 15, Pretlow 0-1 0-0 0, Alston 4-8 0-2 8, Wallace 9-17 3-6 23, Harrison 1-1 0-0 3, Jones 1-1 0-0 2, Henriques 0-1 0-0 0, Wheeler 0-1 0-0 0, Young 0-3 0-0 0, Brown 0-2 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Gross 0-1 0-0 0, Gibson 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 25-59 10-16 64.
McCauley 5-9 0-0 13, Green 1-5 2-4 4, Arnone 2-0 0-0 5, Christy 3-12 3-4 10, Wise 3-6 1-1 7, Butts 1-1 0-0 2, Aleshire 1-2 0-0 2, Miller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-45 6-9 43.
Dunbar    19    12    19    14    —    64
Williamsport    12    11    13    7    —    43
3-point goals — Dunbar 4 (Singletary, Harrison, Wallace 2), Williamsport 5 (McCauley 3, Arnone, Christy). Rebounds — Dunbar 45 (Parham, Wallace 10 each), Williamsport 25 (Christy, Wise 7 each). Assists — Dunbar 8 (Wallace 3), Williamsport 11 (McCauley 3). Steals — Dunbar 10 (Wallace 4), Williamsport 3 (Wise 3). Turnovers — Dunbar 15, Williamsport 18.

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