The boys basketball season in Baltimore City is nearly halfway through and no team has showed any clear sign of being a step ahead. Like past years, there's plenty of talent. But this season, it's spread out more evenly.
Six teams from Baltimore City's Division I are in the area's Top 15 poll, and a seventh, Digital Harbor, is 3-0 in league play and on the verge to make it seven.
"Before, you had certain teams that were a little more talented and players that were above and beyond some others, so with all that being removed everything is wide open," said Dunbar coach Cyrus Jones, whose No. 3 Poets (8-1) are returning City champions and 4-0 in league play so far. "There's no real dominant teams."
Also still undefeated in league play are No. 6 City (10-1, 4-0), No. 8 Poly (10-2, 3-0) and Digital Harbor. Not to be discounted is No. 10 Edmondson (7-3, 1-2); No. 13 Lake Clifton (8-3, 1-2) and No. 15 Patterson (8-3, 3-2) -- each capable of kocking off any team on a given night.
The Poets, behind transfers Daxter Miles and Kamau Stokes, stated their case with a character-building double-overtime win over Edmondson early last week. City has a special pair in Timmy Bond and Omari George, and size and athleticism up front. Poly has a good one-two combo in guard John Crosby and forward Darrion Stokes-Graham. And Edmondson still has the goods to have the final say with Darrius Walker and Isaiah Tripp.
Digital, Lake and Patterson are dangerous, as is Forest Park. It will make for a special end to the regular season and have each team prepared fully for the playoffs.
Baltimore City has had three state champions in each of the past three seasons. This week's showcase game to provide more clues comes Friday when Dunbar travels to Poly.
"I think it's the team that stays focused, continues to gel as a group and can stay on course the entire season," said Poly coach Sam Brand. "You can't get too happy about a win or too down about a loss."