Senior leads FW Dunbar past Houston Bellaire in playoff tune-up

Posted Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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For Fort Worth Dunbar and senior guard Dennis Jones, Saturday’s Metroplex Challenge matchup against Houston Bellaire was a final chance to shake off playoff jitters and see where the Wildcats stand as they enter the postseason.

Jones scored 19 points on 8-of-21 shooting, and Dunbar shook off a slow start to beat Bellaire 73-68 in the annual nondistrict showcase game at Warrior Coliseum.

The Wildcats (22-4) will face Denton in the Class 4A bi-district round Monday or Tuesday.

“Right now, we’ve got to get a lot more boards, box out and run harder,” Jones said. “We didn’t do that this afternoon. With my shot not falling today, it was one of those things where I’m going to keep going to the hole and looking to make plays.”

Dunbar led most of the game and kept the fast-pace tempo to its liking. But turnovers and failed transition baskets kept Bellaire (20-10) close.

The Cardinals took a 43-42 lead with 2:18 remaining in the third quarter.

The teams traded baskets for the most part after that before Dunbar went on an 11-4 run in the fourth quarter to put it away.

Logan Ray had a couple of jumpers in that stretch, and Jones added a couple of putback layups.

“I’ve been shooting thousands of shots and working hard on it,” Ray said. “I feel like we’re physically ready for the playoffs but not mentally. We had too many mental mistakes today.”

Ray finished with 14 points, and Dunbar was 24-of-75 shooting from the field.

Christian James led Bellaire with 24 points, and Leonard Pradia added 13.

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