Pikesville tops Dunbar for first girls’ basketball final four trip; Roberts scores 17

What a difference a year has made for Pikesville High girls’ basketball team. The Panthers are headed to the Class 1A state final four after defeating Dunbar, 48-35, in the North Region final at Dunbar Saturday afternoon.

Charita Roberts scored 17 points for Pikesville (21-2 overall), which claimed its first region championship. The Panthers will play Southern from Garrett County in a state 1A semifinal Friday evening at Towson University’s SECU Arena.

The Baltimore County school went 4-16 last season. With new coach Mike Dukes, previously an assistant under Jerome Shelton at three-time IAAM A champ and top-ranked St. Frances Academy and a revamped roster, Pikesville became a factor in the Baltimore County league after nearly a three-week wait to play its first game.

The Panthers, who lost to reigning 4A state champ Catonsville in the league final a couple of weeks ago, had to play Saturday’s region final at Dunbar after Friday’s wind storm left Pikesville with no power in its building. After a slow start, the Panthers scored 13 straight points in the second quarter to grab command.

Ashley Wise finished with 12 points for Dunbar (13-11), seeking its 10th region title. Teylah Saunders and Keonte Lewis combined for 16 points for Pikesville, which won its bracket at the Title IX Classic in the District during the Christmas holiday, setting the stage for its turnaround.

Next up for the Panthers is Southern-Garrett, which has reached the 1A final the previous four seasons. The Rams, in their fifth straight 1A final four, won the title in 2014.

Class 1A North Region girls’ basketball championship

No. 17 Pikesville 48, Dunbar 35

Dunbar – Pendles 8, Hall 4, Wise 12, Earl 7, Davis 3. Totals 11 12-22 35.

Pikesvlle – Glover 2, Robinson 3, Lewis 9, Sterling 6, Roberts 17, Jackson 4, Saunders 7. Totals 13 21-34 48.