CLASS 1A STATE GIRLS’ BASKETBALL SEMIFINAL
Joppatowne (24-1) vs. Dunbar (18-4)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: The RAC, University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Path to the RAC
Joppatowne defeated Loch Raven (70-47), Western Tech (58-41) and Harford Tech (69-34); Dunbar defeated Southside Academy (89-25), Carver Vo-Tech (92-26) and Surrattsville (60-52) to win South Region
Scoring: Joppatowne-Shakara Head (15.6 points per game); Dunbar-Michelle Wright (21.2 ppg.)
Rebounds: Joppatowne-Head (9.8 rpg.); Dunbar-Oma-ah Tayong (10.7 rpg.)
Assists: Joppatowne-TroiQuay Malloy (6.1 apg.); Dunbar-Candace DeShields (2.6 apg.)
Steals: Joppatowne-Zameria Jones (3.7 spg.); Dunbar-DeShields & Wright (2.8 spg.)
Blocks: Joppatowne-Head (1.8 bpg.); Dunbar-Tayong (2.1 bpg.)
No. 3 Joppatowne looks to take another step towards a second consecutive 1A crown. The Mariners stormed through the North Region, capped with an easy decision over Harford Tech in the region finals in a repeat of the Upper Chesapeake Athletic Conference finals.
The Harford County school features one of the area’s most dynamic backcourts in senior Zameria Jones and junior TroiQuay Malloy. Jones, a four-year starter, has 1,641 career points while Malloy, a transfer from St. Frances, has been solid all season at point.
Trailing at halftime, Dunbar stormed back to knock off Surrattsville from Prince George’s County in the South Region finals last Saturday. Michelle Wright and Oma-ah Tayong combined for 28 second half points as the east Baltimore school wiped out a 13-point deficit for its second straight state Final Four berth.
The Poets rely on Wright and Tayong (6-foot-3; 14 ppg.), a Division I recruit, in the paint. Joppatowne will counter with an athletic front featuring Head and senior Kourtney Lewis-Orr (6.1 ppg. and 6.3 rpg.)
Joppatowne’s Michael Harris on Dunbar: “We knew they were good early. I really think they’re underrated, and playing their best basketball right now.”
Dunbar’s Wardell Selby on Joppatowne: “Their guards are fast and quick, so we’re to try to match that with our guards. If they’re running, we’re running.”
By the numbers
15: Number of doubles-doubles by Dunbar’s Oma-ah Tayong this season
13: Margin of Dunbar’s loss to Surrattsville during regular season. The Poets rallied from the same deficit in the second half to win South Region finals
1: Losses in the last 43 games for Joppatowne. The Mariners fell to eventual 2A state semifinalist and No. 2 Aberdeen, 65-59, in February
6: Number of Joppatowne victories over VSN’s Top 20 squads this season
3: Consecutive games Joppatowne scored 59 points (all wins)