Dunbar girls' post players school Blue Devils

It's seems to be a cycle of one big girl teaching the next big girl at Paul Dunbar lately.

Last season it was Chantelle Pressley tutoring Ebony Rowe.

This season it's Rowe bringing along sophomore center Shomari Kendrick.

Between the two of them, they got the job done Tuesday night as the No. 5 Bulldogs topped visiting Henry Clay 55-45.

The duo helped Dunbar grab an early edge and hold on late.

"We work really well together," Rowe said of Kendrick. "I just try to pass along what Chantelle taught me last season."

So does that mean Kendrick, a sophomore, will be the next Rowe?

"That's the plan," Rowe said. "But in the end, she could be better than Ebony Rowe."

Kendrick looked like a strong student in the first half, racking up a double-double by halftime. She finished the game with 14 points and 17 rebounds.

"She takes a lot of the focus off of me and really opens it up for everyone," said Rowe, who contributed 12 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots for Dunbar, which won its third straight.

"We complement each other really well," said Kendrick, a 6-foot-2 center. "When she doesn't get the rebound, I make sure I get it. We just work together really well down there."

Coach Mike Sowers is happy to have them.

"They both have tremendous potential," he said. "Ebony's got a lot of experience. Shomari gives us a true center-type of player. They both play well together."

Kendrick and Rowe, a 6-1 forward, combined to score 15 of the Bulldogs' first 19 points.

"Their two big girls — especially Shomari in the first half — presented a lot of problems for us and we just did not match up with them well," Henry Clay Coach Scott Cromwell said.

By halftime, Dunbar had a 10-point cushion, which it extended to 14 points in the third quarter before the Devils came storming back in the fourth.

The Devils' pressure defense kept Dunbar without a field goal for the first six minutes of the final quarter while they chipped away at the Bulldogs' lead.

Pilar Morgan's shot in the lane with 2:26 remaining got the Devils within nine points, but that came no closer.

Dunbar's Christin Haney scored back-to-back bank-shot three-pointers within a minute to extend Dunbar's lead again. They were the guard's only baskets of the night.

By then it was too late for the Devils.

"We don't believe in our offense yet," Cromwell said.

But he can't get down on a young team that returned just one starter from last year's 11th Region champion.

"I was pleased by our effort tonight," he said. "I think we're playing hard, but sometimes we don't understand the purpose of why we're doing what we're doing."

Sophomore Candace Morton led the Devils with 20 points. Senior Brittany Coles, who scored her 1,000th point last week, added 11 points, six steals, five rebounds and four blocked shots.

HENRY CLAY (1-2) — Morton 20, Morgan 4, Decker 2, Coles 11, Price 6, Aweimrin 2.

PAUL DUNBAR (3-0) — Mitchell 2, A. Lucas 2, E. Lucas 10, Ch. Haney 6, Rowe 12, McIntosh 3, Kendrick 14, Co. Haney 6.

Henry Clay 13 10 8 14—45

Paul Dunbar 15 18 9 13—55