Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School has long been the king of high school football in Baltimore City. Now, they’ve claimed the title on the basketball court as well, knocking off Patterson High School, 65-61, in the Baltimore City Division I championship Feb. 21 at the Hill Field House at Morgan State University.
Once known for its great basketball legacy, Dunbar has been itching to return to greatness on the court. They won the Class 1A state title in 2010 and 2011, but gave up the Baltimore City title to Patterson last season. This time, the Poets reclaimed their city crown by holding off the biggest star in the city, Patterson guard Aquille Carr.
Carr scored a game-high 24 points for Patterson, but that wasn’t enough to offset the balanced offensive attack from Dunbar.
Dunbar senior guard Rodrick Harrison led the way for the Poets with 18 points, all scored on three-pointers. Fellow Dunbar senior guard Evan Singletary followed with 16 points, while senior forward Aaron Parham contributed 13 points and senior guard Donte Pretflow added another 10 points.
“It feels good because a lot of people didn't think we could do it—they thought the first time [against Patterson] was a fluke,” Parham told reporters after the game. “But we proved them wrong. We just came out and played hard and played together and played great defense.”
Dunbar advanced to a 17-3 overall record this season. They’ll now look to win their third straight state title starting with the regional playoffs beginning the week of Feb. 27. Patterson fell to 15-7 overall and will also compete in the regional playoffs.