Dunbar took a lesson from its “We Will” T-shirts on Tuesday night at Chaminade Julienne.
The Wolverines boys high school basketball team ends each practice with a whooping chant of “We will win; we will work hard; we will play together.”
That’s exactly what Dunbar did to overcome a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit and stun CJ, 83-78, in overtime.
“We just willed them,” beamed Dunbar senior Amos “AJ” Harris.
The smallest player on the court came up with the biggest game when needed most. The Ohio State University recruit shrugged off a frigid first half and roasted the Eagles with a game-high 28 points.
None was more crucial than his three free throws with 5.9 second left in regulation to force OT. Giving up the jumper and instead driving toward the hoop, Harris was unguardable with the game on the line. When the Eagles did collapse on him he passed off for easy layups, mostly to Terrance Landers.
Until then, it was inconceivable CJ could squander a 14-point advantage with less than seven minutes remaining.
“We played a great ball game until the last couple minutes of regulation,” CJ coach Joe Staley said. “We have some pretty tough kids, but the kid with the strongest will on the floor was Harris. He’s hard for any one kid to guard.”
Doriane Dawson added 17 points for Dunbar, Landers 13 — including 8 in OT — and Devon Baker 10.
If CJ couldn’t solve Harris, Dunbar had no luck with Myo Baxter-Bell. He put 25 points on the Wolverines, many on stickbacks. Alan Vest added 21 points and Jacob Harrison hit a half-dozen threes for 18 points.
Dunbar improves to 12-3 and CJ fell to 12-4. Both teams are state ranked but won’t play again; Dunbar is in Division II and CJ in D-III.
Harris also had three free throws to force OT at Richmond (Ind.) early this season. He missed the first toss, which ended that game.
“You gotta lose sometimes to win a game,” said a relieved Dunbar coach Pete Pullen. “He redeemed himself.”
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