Spingarn 71, Dunbar 55
In a game featuring some of the area's best perimeter players, the difference in Spingarn's 71-55 victory over No. 9 Dunbar was the dominant performance in the post by senior center Jerome Petticolas.
Petticolas tied his season-high with 28 points, including eight points in a 16-2 run in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, to lift the eighth-ranked Green Wave to its third consecutive victory over Dunbar in a nonconference D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Conference game in Northeast.
"Nothing [Petticolas] does is cute," Dunbar Coach Lorenzo Roach said. "He does everything for Spingarn that other players don't want to do. People don't give him enough credit when they talk about Spingarn."
The spotlight shone directly on Petticolas when Spingarn's second leading scorer, Babocar Thiam, was forced to leave the game after sustaining a sprained right shoulder with 6 minutes 20 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Dunbar took its first lead of the game at 37-36 when senior All-Met Tre Kelley scored on a layup with 5:05 remaining in the third quarter. The Crimson Tide (16-3) had a six-point lead as Dunbar outscored Spingarn 23-14 in the third quarter.
But the Green Wave (13-4) responded in the fourth quarter, holding Dunbar to two field goals behind a stifling full court press and the strong interior play of Petticolas. Spingarn's defense contained Kelley to 25 points and made it extremely difficult for junior point guard Earl Risby (8 points) to get his team in offensive rhythm.
"The turning point came when we finally settled down offensively, and started going inside to Jerome," Spingarn coach Keith Jackson said. "Once Jerome established dominance inside through our half-court offense, Dunbar had to chase us."
Petticolas spent much of the offseason developing post moves so that he could complement the perimeter shooting of Thiam and senior guard Daniel Marshall (16 points). The work has paid off as Petticolas has nearly doubled his season average to a team-leading 17.6 points per game.
"I always knew I could step outside and shoot," Petticolas said. "After we got Babocar, I thought that my role scoring might diminish. But after he [Thiam] went down, I knew I had to pick up my game and try to draw fouls on their interior players."