With his team ahead by 21 points almost midway through the fourth quarter in last night's Class 1A North regional final, Digital Harbor coach Johnny Grimes implored the Rams not to underestimate the resilience of Baltimore City rival Dunbar.
His words would prove true. The visiting Poets stormed back and pulled within four with 1:32 remaining, close to adding another chapter to their storied history. But the sixth-ranked Rams made four free throws down the stretch and held on for a 79-70 victory.
George Jackson led Digital Harbor with 20 points, Davon Usher scored 19 and Justin Jackson added 18. Digital Harbor (20-5), which is in its fifth year of competing in varsity sports, is making its first trip to the state semifinals in boys basketball Friday at Comcast Center in College Park.
"There are banners here. We want to put some banners up," Grimes said.
Derrell Edwards led Dunbar (18-7) with 30 points.
SURRATTSVILLE 56, NO. 15 JOPPATOWNE 42: : The Mariners fell behind by 10 points in the first quarter of the 1A South regional final against Surrattsville and could never pull back into the game. In a clash of two teams each hoping to go on to win their first state title, the Hornets repeated as regional champs and ended Joppatowne's season at Patterson Mill.
The Hornets (21-3) advance to the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday at UMBC's RAC Arena. They will meet the winner of today's East regional final between defending 1A state champ Pocomoke and Mardela.
The Mariners (20-4) fell behind 12-2 in the first 6 1/2 minutes, and the Hornets pulled ahead 50-32 in the fourth quarter. Brittany Thornton led the Mariners with 16 points.
NO. 5 WALBROOK 73, NORTH CARROLL 44:: Donte Stuckey and Roscoe Smith each scored 17 points in the Warriors' victory over the visiting Panthers in the 4A North final.
NO. 9 CITY 59, EDMONDSON 47:: Maurice Johnson (13 points) and Charles Tapper (11) led the host Knights past the Red Storm in the 2A North final.
Baltimore Sun reporters contributed to this article.