When Dunbar senior guard Da’Shawn Phillip is at his best, he’s hitting 3-pointers, slicing to the basket and setting a positive tone on defense for the No. 4 Poets.
When sophomore forward Jamal West Jr. has things going well, he’s aggressive at the rim, dominating the boards and is a defensive menace down low.
In the third quarter of Friday’s game against visiting Edmondson, they were both unstoppable.
The two combined to score 16 points in the game-changing quarter and strong team defense was also big. Dunbar scored 27 straight points — limiting the Red Storm to one field goal in the third quarter — to turn a tight game into a lopsided 64-42 win Friday night in Baltimore City play.
West scored a game-high 23 points while adding 16 rebounds and five blocked shots with Phillip adding 21 points and 11 boards as the Poets (14-0) improved to 3-0 in Baltimore City’s Division I. Edmondson, which got a team-high 18 points from Deshawn Ruffin, fell to 9-3 on the season.
“It was a big team effort. No one man did it — it was all of us. We played good team defense and stuck to fundamentals,” Phillip said.
As for the feeling when he and West took over in the third quarter, Phillip added: “It’s like nobody could stop us.”
With a 26-23 lead at halftime, the Poets talked about getting to their spots on defense to close off open shots and penetration. Phillip and West took care of the offense.
After Ruffin cut the lead to 26-25 with the first basket of the third quarter — coming at the 6:59 mark — the Poets took over.
Phillip got to the basket for two, then hit a 3-pointer to make it 31-25. After Malik McCormick hit a 3-pointer, Phillip made a follow and then cut to the basket for two more to make it 38-25.
West, who dominated the rim at both ends, followed with two dunks and three of four free throws. When senior guard Zephaniah Esguerra hit consecutive 3s in the final minute of the third quarter, the Poets’ lead was 53-25.
“It was hard. We had to compete against Edmondson,” West said. “It’s like a rivalry thing — West vs. East. We just needed to get the intensity and keep it going.”
Dunbar coach Cyrus Jones Sr. was quick to point out the fine team effort that came with the Poets’ cranked-up defense in the second half, and also liked what he saw from his dynamic one-two combination that ignited the offense.
“When they’re playing together, clicking on all cylinders, with Jamal being inside and Da’Shawn being outside, it’s really tough for us to be stopped,” Jones said. “Tonight, they found a rhythm to play together and helped each other.”
E — Ruffin 18, Evans 11, Gardner 1, Bolden 5, Farabee 2, Jones 2, Colbert 3. Totals: 17 1-5 42
D — Phillip 21, West 23, McCormick 5, Esguerra 8, Lewis 2, Hunt 1, Ayers 2, Scott 2 . Totals: 25 7-11 64
Half: D, 26-23