Paul Laurence Dunbar rallied from a 17-point deficit and blew by visiting Lexington Catholic 83-57 in a clash of highly ranked girls' teams Tuesday night.
That after Catholic's boys outscored Dunbar 42-12 from three-point range en route to an 85-68 romp.
"Beach night," Dunbar boys coach Justin Yeary said of his stylish Hawaiian shirt. "We got stranded."
The ninth-rated Dunbar girls (19-4) extended their winning streak to 11 games.
No. 16 Catholic (16-8) played early on as if it would make it two in a row over the Lady Bulldogs. Catholic won 54-51 on Dec. 17.
The Lady Knights scored the first 10 points of the second quarter to lead 33-16.
Fifteen of the 33 points came from behind the three-point line, where Catholic finished the half 8-for-10.
Dunbar used an 11-0 run to pull to within 44-33 at halftime, then demolished the Knights 32-5 in the third quarter.
Jordin Fender, a 5-foot-2 junior, led the winners with 25 points. She made 12 of 17 shots, most on determined drives to the hoop. She also had five steals — part of Catholic's 26 turnovers — to go with three assists and only one turnover. She even blocked a shot.
"I love to 'play big' because when I was younger I was always called 'Shorty' or 'Shrimp,'" Fender said. "So I always like to show everybody I can be big."
The Bulldogs, who coughed up the ball 12 times, had a 39-12 advantage in points off turnovers.
Morgan McEldowney finished with 14 points, while Brooke Todd and Kierra Muhammad scored 10 each.
Muhammad racked up seven steals and smothered Catholic playmaker Octavia Wilson in the second half.
"We know that defense and a fast-tempo game is our game, and we got away from that a little bit in the first half, gave up 44 points," Dunbar Coach Sarah Van Horn said. "We adjusted some things and talked to the kids about 'gotta get stops; offense is fine — gotta get stops.' And they held them to five points in the third quarter.
"Credit to the kids. They're buying into the system."
After their 8-for-10 long-range success in the first half, the Lady Knights went 0-for-8 the rest of the night.
Wilson led Lexington Catholic, scoring nine of her 14 points in the first half. Alex Botkin had eight points and 12 rebounds.
In the second half, Catholic was 2-for-22 from the field, with 14 turnovers.
"Heart," Fender said in explaining the second-half turnaround. "We had so much heart and intensity that we knew they were not going to win on our court."
Five Knights hitdouble figures in rout
Five players scored in double digits as the 11th-rated Knights won their fifth game in a row, 85-68.
Craig Floyd led the point parade with 22. Dillon Avare was next with 16, followed by Bryan Woomer with 14, then Patrick Keller and Jack Whitman with 12 each.
Catholic's other nine points came from Ron Muncy.
All of the scorers except inside-guy Whitman made a three-point shot, topped by Floyd, Avare and Woomer with four each.
"We know all our starters are good three-point shooters," Floyd said. "We have a lot of confidence in our three-point shot. Sometimes too much."
Not too much Tuesday.
"That's what makes us such a tough team," Knights Coach Brandon Salsman said. "You can try to take Jack away in the middle and our shooters on the outside are going to get open looks. If they go take the shooters away, Jack's going to get open looks.
"They did a good job of defending Jack tonight. They had three guys in the paint around him. Even when we were hitting shots, they stayed with him. So we did a good job of moving the ball, finding the open shooter and, fortunately for us, we shot it really, really well."
Catholic finished 14-for-27 from beyond the arc, while Dunbar went 4-for-15.
"We knew that they could shoot it, and we talked about making sure that we were out there to contest," Yeary said. "I think they hit a couple (contested) threes. But I think we blew assignments on most of them. Didn't get to where we were supposed to be."
Dunbar (16-9) has lost five in a row and six of seven. Included in that stretch is a 67-54 loss at Catholic on Jan. 19.
Mike Smith, a 5-10 junior, paced the Bulldogs with 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals. William Gary added 19 points, six boards, three assists and three steals.
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (16-8) — Botkin 8, Johns 8, Walton 6, Rhule 6, Wilson 14, Blake 8, Browning 7. Totals 17-48 15-18 57.
PAUL DUNBAR (19-4) — McEldowney 14, Todd 10, Fender 25, Muhammad 10, Edwards 7, Parks 1, Jackson 7, Raglin 6, Brown 3. Totals 34-66 12-17 83.
Lexington Catholic 23 21 5 8—57
Paul Dunbar 16 17 32 18—83
LEXINGTON CATHOLIC (18-5) — Keller 12, Floyd 22, Whitman 12, Avare 16, Woomer 14, Muncy 9. Totals 31-59 9-19 85.
PAUL DUNBAR (16-9) — King 8, Lewis 1, Gary 19, Blincoe 2, Smith 23, Adu-Peasah 7, Herrin 6, Haga 2. Totals 28-64 8-14 68.
Lexington Catholic 18 20 22 25—85
Paul Dunbar 12 20 17 19—68