Dunbar boys hold off Saginaw late

Posted Tuesday, Feb. 04, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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Fort Worth Dunbar coach Robert Hughes Jr. doesn’t like his team’s focus as the Wildcats steer toward a collision course with Birdville for the District 6-4A title.

Even with an 80-71 victory Tuesday over fourth-place Saginaw at Billingsley Fieldhouse, Hughes wasn’t happy with his team, ranked No. 12 in the latest Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 4A state poll.

Win or lose Friday for either team, Dunbar and Birdville will play a deciding game for the district title Tuesday at Birdville.

“At this point of the season these guys are supposed to be tough, not emotional,” Hughes said. “All of the Dunbar players of the past, all of them were intently focused at this point of the season. My guys seem to be coasting, and we can’t do that if we want to play for a district title.”

Still, five players were in double figures for Dunbar (19-4, 13-1 6-4A) as they shook off the early jitters to establish a tempo and shake off two Saginaw runs.

The Roughriders (13-9, 8-6) grabbed the lead late in the second quarter, only to see it evaporate behind the play of Dunbar guard Dennis Jones.

Jones scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half as Dunbar led 37-31 at the break.

“Coming off a loss, we were all frustrated out there,” Jones said. “Coach was getting on all of us and it kind of shook me up, but you got to play through that.”

Forward Quinton Brigham came on in the second half to score 15 of his game-high 21 points, and Dunbar led by as many 17 in the third quarter.

Saginaw had 16 points from Malcolm McGruder and was without leading scorer Tyler Flores, who was out with illness.

“The kids still came together and had a little run there at the end, so I was pleased with that in a tough situation,” Saginaw coach Brent Craft said.

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