In their final tuneups before meeting Tuesday, Dunbar and Western had different results yesterday at the Mayor's Basketball Academy at the Coppin Center.
The No. 7-ranked Doves dropped a 64-61 decision to Henrico (Va.), ranked No. 4 in the Richmond area, while the Poets rolled past St. John's Prospect Hall of Frederick, 70-24.
Western will play host to the Poets Tuesday at 5 p.m. in a game that could decide the city's East Division champion.
The Doves watched a 12-point halftime lead disappear in the third quarter, then were unable to overtake Henrico (9-3) in the final moments.
Tina Crawley led Western with 17 points, and Latia Few added 11. Michelle Atkins led Henrico with 18 points, and Natasha Starkes scored 15.
Trailing 60-53 with 2: 06 left in regulation, Western shaved the deficit to 60-59 with 1: 03 after two free throws by Few, who started the six-point run with a three-pointer.
Henrico's Brandy Byrd (11 points) came away with a big rebound off a miss by Starkes, and scored for a three-point lead with 42 seconds left. After a layup by Gorham with 33 seconds to play, Byrd came through with two free throws in an one-and-one situation six seconds later.
Western had a couple of opportunities to tie, including one in a frantic closing 10 seconds, but a desperation three-pointer fell short.
The Doves fell apart at the start of the second half. Their first 17 possessions resulted in 13 turnovers and one field goal in six attempts as Henrico went on a 21-2 surge to claim a 42-35 lead.
"We made some terrible decisions and didn't have good anticipation on our passes," said Crawley. "We may have been focused too much, and somehow lost our concentration."
Dunbar (10-1) finished its initial visit to the Mayor's Academy with its second victory, easily handling St. John's Prospect Hall (1-14).
Toni Kennedy led Dunbar with 19 points and Lakeisha Wills had 18. The Poets enjoyed a 33-5 halftime advantage.
Newport Prep 55, No. 8 Milford Mill 49: Aisha Williams scored 17 points and Sirlena Moore had 13 to lead Newport Prep (15-4), ranked No. 15 in the Washington area, past the Millers.
Mandy Clark led Milford Mill (7-3) with 24 points. Rosslyn Vernoy added 12 for Newport Prep.
Pub Date: 1/17/99