Defending City Title Game champion Dunbar, ranked No. 2 but playing without injured starters Paul Bailey and Ronald Williams, lacked cohesion in losing to Towson Catholic, 58-44, in the second game of the Nation's Capital Tip-Off Classic last night at UDC.
In the opener, No. 10 Paul VI Catholic cruised to a 57-42 victory over Ryan Academy of Newport News, Va. Dunbar and Paul VI are scheduled to play Saturday at George Mason.
Dunbar Coach Gary Lampkins used 12 of 14 eligible players and substituted at almost every stop in action with Bailey and Williams sidelined with injured shoulders. Dunbar (1-1) nearly erased a 47-25 deficit midway through the fourth quarter, closing to 53-44 on a field goal by Tre Kelly with 53 seconds remaining. But sophomore Darnell Hopkins scored four straight points for Towson Catholic (1-0) to put the game out of reach.
"I am learning about the kids and they are learning about me," said Lampkins, who said Bailey could return within two weeks, and Williams could be back in about a month. "We may not be great now, but by January we should be real good."
Paul VI had not practiced together as a full unit until Monday. Three starters--juniors Tyree Spinner and Andre Eason and senior Ryan O'Hare--did not join the team until Monday because they were members of the school's Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title-winning football team. But Spinner, a 6-foot-7 forward, had little trouble converting from football, finishing with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists last night.
"The [football] coaches will kill me, but after football practices I would go and shoot 50 jump shots, then run the basketball court at least 10 times," Spinner said. "Winning the football title can really help us. We got a lot of confidence from winning it."
Braddock Guard Out
Lake Braddock point guard RaMell Ross went to see a joint specialist yesterday morning to get a second opinion on his injured left shoulder. The news was not good. Ross, who has unofficially committed to play at Georgetown, was told that he will need surgery to repair torn cartilage and will miss the season.
"I'm so great right now," Ross said, rolling his shoulder gingerly. "When the doctor told me I couldn't play, I didn't know what to say. I guess I just have to look to the future."
Ross, a 6-foot-5 senior who averaged 21 points and six rebounds for the Bruins last season, dislocated the shoulder while playing in an AAU tournament in Las Vegas in mid-July. When the shoulder popped back into place moments later, Ross was led to believe the injury was not serious. He took a week off and started playing again. About a month later, during a summer league game, the shoulder popped out again.
When he dislocated the shoulder a third time on Nov. 11, just three days before Lake Braddock's first practice this season, Ross realized the injury was more serious than previously thought. The shoulder popped out of joint while Ross reached to block the shot of his friend and Bruins teammate senior guard Coy Lindsay.
"He was just trying to knock the ball out of my hands," said Lindsay, who will assume more scoring responsibility in Ross's absence.
Lake Braddock Coach Mark Martino said: "It's a shame for RaMell and for the team, but it's going to be a good opportunity for some kids. They can no longer count on RaMell to score 25 points. Now, everyone has to step it up."
The starting point guard spot vacated by Ross will be filled by 6-0 senior James Lee.
Ross is expected to require six months to rehabilitate the shoulder. As for Georgetown, the injury likely won't have any impact on his future with the Hoyas. With the encouragement of the Hoyas' coaching staff, Ross will play next season at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy to add muscle to his lanky frame and play against better competition.
In Wednesday's girls basketball preview, information about Potomac School was incorrectly listed under Lee High. In addition, Lee's record last season was incorrect. The Lancers were 9-16.
CAPTION: Lake Braddock must find someone to replace RaMell Ross, left, a Georgetown recruit who averages 25 points per game, because he will need surgery on his injured left shoulder.