Jonathan Allen made certain there would be no encore act for Belmont’s breakout boys basketball season. The super-sized Dunbar junior had seen enough in their previous matchup.
“It really feels good because they came to our house and beat us,” said Allen following a 58-57 defeat of host Belmont in a City League showdown Friday night.
“I was just staying in the block and sealing my man and letting the four come in and give me the ball every time. It just worked real well.”
Allen was a big reason Dunbar prevented Belmont from making program history. He scored a game-high 18 points and was just as effective clogging the middle defensively. That’s not hard to do because he’s 6 feet 6 and listed at 315 pounds. That’s also the kind of athleticism that has enticed the University of Wisconsin, Michigan State and Cincinnati, among others, to make football offers. He remains uncommitted.
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Streaking Dunbar (10-3) won its eighth straight game and appears past the work-in-progress bunch that lost 81-80 in triple overtime to Belmont in early December. That came off a blowout loss to Reynoldsburg to start the season.
“These guys have been great and resilient,” said first-year Dunbar coach Chuck Taylor, who took over the Wolverines program when veteran coach Pete Pullen was not retained. “They knew it took some work and they’re buying into the philosophy and we’re right there right now.”
That would be atop the area Division II field along with another great Trotwood-Madison team. Dunbar is at Trotwood on Saturday, Feb. 3.
Jamar Walker added 12 points for Dunbar, including a nifty layup with about 1:10 left to put Dunbar up by four points. But he twisted a knee after landing and didn’t return.
Jadon Furlow and Phil Harewood each scored 15 points to pace Belmont (8-3). Furlow, an outstanding defensive back who signed with Miami University, dunked with 57 seconds left to answer Walker’s layup. Joseph Scates hit two free throws for Dunbar with 8.4 seconds left for what proved to be the difference. Belmont’s Harewood hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.
Jeff Hunt also had 10 points for Belmont, which was looking for its first regular-season sweep of Dunbar in program history. Belmont led by six with three minutes left, but turnovers and missed front ends of three bonus free throw opportunities leveled the Bison.
Still, Belmont will be a wild card in the upcoming D-I sectional seeding, probably not earning a high seed but being the team all will want to avoid.
“Everybody expected Dunbar to be Dunbar, but nobody expected Belmont to be where we’re at right now,” Bison coach Art Winston said. “We had a chance to win the game and that’s all you can ask for.”
Taylor and Winston were Dunbar classmates in the early 1980s.
Dunbar hosts Chaminade Julienne on Tuesday. Belmont is at unbeaten and state-ranked No. 1 Wayne next weekend.
“I’m just fortunate to have some players who are athletic, physical and they love to play basketball,” Taylor said. “Most importantly, they’re coachable. With those ingredients, you can do a lot and win a lot.”
• Sidney’s Andre Gordon scored 40 points in Thursday’s 68-60 defeat of visiting Stebbins. Back on Dec. 22 he went for 49 points in a win at Greenville.
Trotwood-Madison shut the high-scoring junior down on Friday, limiting him to a season-low 11 points in Trotwood’s 87-53 win. Amari Davis had 30 points and Myles Belyeu 23 as the Rams (12-3) won their fifth straight game. Trotwood was at Butler (14-1) in a great GWOC crossover game that will count in divisional standings on Saturday.
• Eli Ramsey scored 16 points and Carroll won its eighth straight by beating host Purcell Marion 52-37 in a key GCL crossover boys game on Friday. The Patriots (10-4) remain a half-game behind Fenwick (11-3) in the GCL Co-Ed North Division. Carroll was at Fenwick on Saturday night.
The loss snapped Purcell Marian’s six-game win streak.
• Troy Christian’s James Anderson surpassed 1,000 career points and Colt Tanner’s 3-pointer was the game-winner as the Eagles defeated host Dayton Christian 44-42 on Friday.
It was the 10th straight win for Troy Christian (14-2), which leads the Metro Buckeye Conference (8-1) by one game over Dayton Christian (10-5, 7-2).