Back in state tournament, Dunbar outlasts Fenwick


Dunbar put a positive spin on a tumultuous series of postseason events by outlasting Fenwick 27-26 in a boys high school basketball sectional final on Wednesday night at UD Arena.

The offensively challenged win sends Dunbar (18-4) into a Division II district final against Cincinnati Woodward at 3 p.m. Saturday at Hamilton High School. That site was switched by the Southwest District prior to the game.

»RELATED: Dayton, OHSAA in war of words after Dunbar legal victory

The Ohio High School Athletic Association disqualified Dunbar from the tournament the previous Wednesday, citing an ineligible player. Dayton City League rival Thurgood Marshall was put in Dunbar’s place in the D-II bracket, because that was the last team Dunbar beat in the sectional semifinals.

However, Dayton Public Schools and Dunbar contested that decision and a ruling in Dayton Municipal Court on Tuesday allowed Dunbar back into the tourney and knocked Thurgood out. Both teams had been practicing, not knowing which would play Fenwick.

It was the second time in about 18 months the OHSAA had disqualified Dunbar from a postseason. The Wolverines also were dismissed from the 2016 football playoffs for an ineligible player.

“We’ve had a long week,” admitted a spent Dunbar coach Chuck Taylor, in his first season with the Wolverines. “Some of (the Dunbar players were) involved with the football situation. For it to happen in basketball, it was just a double whammy.”

»RELATED: Stivers’ bid to shock the D-III field falls short

That includes leading scorer and junior Jonathan Allen (seven points) and Jo-Jo-Scates (six points). Allen’s free throw put Dunbar up 25-22 with 1:58 left. Then it was Scates’ turn. He jumped off the court to save a loose ball and flipped it to Kadar Gardner for what stood as the winning bucket and 27-24 lead.

“(The OHSAA), they’re always picking on Dunbar,” said Scates, a talented receiver who signed with Iowa State University to play football. “It’s like a tradition, now. There’s a lot of doubt that goes on in the city against Dunbar. We take that as motivation and use it to our advantage.”

»RELATED: Versailles, OSU signee Justin Ahrens bid farewell

Fittingly, the game also was an oddity. Fenwick (17-7) was packed in a tight zone defense like it had mostly used to win a Greater Catholic League Co-Ed North championship. Dunbar hoped to draw the Falcons out by holding the ball.

Instead, the final four minutes of the third quarter and the opening five minutes of the fourth quarter were spent with Dunbar players standing still with the ball and Fenwick defenders watching motionless.

“I didn’t know what was going on until my coach explained it to me,” Scates said. “I said, oh, I get what we’re doing now. I was kind of confused about it myself.”

RELATED: Boys district final schedule

Fans from both teams erupted throughout, pleading for action.

“We had to figure out a way to bring those guys out,” said Taylor.

Fenwick’s C.J. Napier hit two free throws with 5.8 seconds left to account for the final score. However, he missed the third. But Allen also missed a following free throw for Dunbar.

RELATED: Girls regional schedule

That gave Fenwick one final possession, but Napier was tied up at half court and couldn’t get a shot off. John Engelmeier led Fenwick with 12 points.

“It ended up working,” Taylor said. “We’re just happy to move on.”

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton



Reader Comments


Next Up in Sports

Ohio State players describe finding out Urban Meyer is retiring, what made him successful
Ohio State players describe finding out Urban Meyer is retiring, what made him successful

Some Buckeyes were caught off guard by Urban Meyer’s announcement he will retire from coaching Ohio State after the Rose Bowl. Others not so much. Robert Landers said the Dec. 4 announcement, “was kind of out of nowhere,” and Chris Olave recalled having no idea what was in store when the team gathered at the Woody Hayes Athletic...
Disciplined Springfield earns hard-fought win at Centerville
Disciplined Springfield earns hard-fought win at Centerville

Springfield High School boys basketball coach Isaiah Carson knew the key to beating rival Centerville was playing disciplined — especially on the defensive end of the floor. The Wildcats had to stay structured in the paint against Centerville 6-foot-9 post player Mo Njie, who stood four inches taller than any player on Springfield’s roster...
HS Scores 12/14: Hall leads Fairmont in win over ‘Boro

Boys Basketball Friday’s Results Alter 40, McNicholas 38: Uhl (A) 19; Burkhardt (M) 16. Ansonia 40, Newton 37, OT: Jamison (N) 11. Arcanum 47, National Trail 41: Meeks (A) 26; Harris (NT) 10. Benjamin Logan 70, Graham 69, OT Butler 58, Troy 50 Catholic Central 68, Cedarville 48 Cin. Christian 70, New Miami 52: Reutener (CC) 15; Duncan (NM) 23...
HS Roundup 12/14: Spears, Ellis push Stivers past Thurgood Marshall

Ivynn Spears sank the go-ahead foul shot with nine seconds to play, giving Stivers a 59-58 victory versus Thurgood Marshall in boys basketball on Friday. Trevon Ellis led the way for Stivers with 16 points and Da’Juan Allen tacked on 14. Anthony McComb paced Thurgood with 18 points. Boys Basketball Alter 40, McNicholas 38: Brady Uhl led the way...
Girls basketball power rankings: Who are the top teams in the area?
Girls basketball power rankings: Who are the top teams in the area?

Here’s who we consider the top girls high school basketball teams for the area power rankings. Division I 1. Centerville (5-0): d. Trotwood-Madison 88-34, d. Springfield 70-34; hosts Beavercreek on Sat., hosts Wayne on Mon. 2. Wayne (4-1): d. Wilmington 55-46; at Miamisburg on Sat., at Centerville on Mon., hosts Belmont on Wed. 3. Tecumseh (3-2)...
More Stories