Dunbar Coach Mike McLeese and Harker Prep Coach Stu Vetter, who sat a distance apart in the bleachers at McDonough Arena last night, had considerably different expressions as their teams played for the Eddie Saah League championship.
McLeese was relaxed and often smiled while Vetter sat disappointed. The game, which was once nip and tuck, turned into a blowout as Harker Prep fell to the relentless press of Athlete's Foot (Dunbar) and lost, 66-47.
The impressive performance by Dunbar, which has won both the Eddie Saah League and City Championship the past two years, was expected. Vetter, who moved from Flint Hill to Harker Prep early in the spring, has been optimistic all summer while he has steadily recruited for next season.
But he has been disheartened by of the inconsistency of his team, which lost by nearly 30 points to Coolidge the first week of the Eddie Saah season.
Harker Prep seemed more mature a week ago in a 64-59 victory over Dunbar. But after 11 ties last night, with Johnny Rhodes (11 points) and 6-foot-6 senior forward James Marshall (20 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists) clearing out the middle, Dunbar clearly showed which was the more seasoned team. The winners went on a 20-2 run to turn a tie into a comfortable 43-25 lead early in the third period.
"With the new players trying to come together, the beginning of the summer was a little tough," said Harker Prep summer league coach Kevin Sutton. "But we've meshed together, and the way we played tonight was an indication of how the summer has gone.
"But I think that our guys have played hard and we're redeemed ourselves against every team that beat us. We're the only team that beat Dunbar, so I'm very pleased with our guys. We just ran out of gas, but Dunbar is just an outstanding team from No. 1 to No. 12."