Sunday's Metro Classic A Conference basketball championship will be a question of who owes whom. The ninth annual affair at the Baltimore Arena will have No. 1 Dunbar tapping off against No. 3 Southern in the featured 7 p.m. matchup for the Maryland Scholastic Association championship.
Southern defeated Dunbar, 70-67, in last year's Metro Classic, but Dunbar has beaten the Bulldogs twice this season.
Both advanced in last night's semifinals at Morgan State. Dunbar (26-1) stopped Lake Clifton, 81-69, and Southern (17-5) downed Mount St. Joseph, 64-49.
"It's really a very difficult thing I am asking my players to do," said Dunbar coach Pete Pompey, "to beat three very good teams, Dunbar of D.C., Lake Clifton and Southern, three times in a season."
The Poets ripped the Bulldogs at Southern, 81-47, in this season's first meeting, then edged them Sunday, 59-55, in the finals of the Baltimore City Public School Tournament.
"We owed Dunbar after the way they beat us at our own court," said Southern's John Salley, the 6-foot-7 senior center who had 17 points and 13 rebounds last night. "They beat us Sunday. It was only by four, but we still owe them."
Dunbar's counterpart to Salley, 6-6 junior Donta Bright, scored only five points last Sunday. He had 34 last night, despite sitting out the first quarter for violating a minor team rule.
"Southern is very good and matches up well against our size," said Bright. "We know what we have to do against them. We're just glad to be back in the Metro Classic."
Neither Pompey nor Southern coach Meredith Smith plan any drastic changes. Smith does expect top guard David Cason will shake the flu by then. Cason's freshman brother, Damon, filled in admirably last night, netting 17 points and 15 assists. Kwame Evans had 16 points and Che Evans added six and 19 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Pompey did shake up his offense a bit last night, letting Terrance Alexander (16 points, 10 rebounds) float high at the foul line while he had Bright roaming the baseline.
"I just went in to play my game," said Bright. "Terrance got the ball to me down low. I had the shots and took them."
* Carver and Edmondson advanced to Sunday's 3 p.m. B Conference championship of the Metro Classic. In yesterday's semifinals, Carver defeated Mervo, 65-48, and Edmondson nipped Forest Park, 78-76. Carver and Edmondson have split two-point decisions this season.
* The C Conference finalists were to be determined today as Park visited Boys' Latin (3:45) and Severn traveled to St. Paul's (7).
* Elsewhere yesterday in state regional girls play, Howard's Kristi Greer scored 23 points as the Lions topped Thomas Johnson, 69-42, in the Class 3A/Region I quarterfinals. Kelly Foreman had 19 points to lead Liberty over North Carroll, 57-42. Liberty advances to tomorrow's semifinals (7 p.m.) against Oakland Mills. Howard will visit Linganore (7 p.m.).
In Class 4A/Region IV, Severna Park rallied from 10 points down to edge Arundel, 43-39. The Falcons, led by Lori Sharpless (14 points), visit Old Mill for tomorrow's 7 p.m. semifinals.
Lansdowne topped C. Milton Wright in overtime, 54-47, to advance in Class 3A/Region III. The Vikings visit Catonsville tomorrow (7 p.m.).