Dunlap Leads His Team To A Win Over Gentry

Amanda Elzy High School used a 14-point fourth period scoring effort by Mississippi State basketball signee Maurice Dunlap to pull out a 73-67 come-from-behind victory over Gentry High School Tuesday night.

With Amanda Elzy trailing by 11 points at the beginning of the fourth period, Dunlap took control of the game by scoring 14 of his 28 points during that period.

Five of the fourteen were from the free-throw line and four of his nine field goals were made in the period.

"I was trying to go to the bucket and get fouled and get free throw opportunities," said Dunlap. "I also finally got the rhythm in my shot in the fourth period."

It's not surprising that he and his team didn't play up to their ability the first three periods of the game. Amanda Elzy High School is currently under state control and their sports teams are limited to playing about half a schedule.

"We were a little rusty because we have only had one practice since our last game on December 5th," said Dunlap, who scored 35 points in that game.

With another game this coming Friday against his team's rival, Greenwood High School, Dunlap expects to be back in the groove of things by then.

"(The layoff) affected me as a shooter but in two more days, by Friday, I'll be on again," said the talented senior.

With just a few games left in his high school career, Dunlap has already started preparing for his upcoming college career.

"I've added about 15 pounds since last season," said Dunlap. "I'm 6-foot-2 and weigh 170 pounds now. I'm trying to add 15 more pounds before I get to Mississippi State so it will make it easier on me (physically) when I get there."

He's also working on his overall game.

"I have been working during the off-season to get better and perfect my craft," said Dunlap. "I work everyday on my ball handling and my passing and trying to pull up off the dribble."

He keeps in communication with Mississippi State head coach Rick Ray.

"They want me to come in and play right away," said Dunlap, who plans on attending Mississippi State during the first summer session. "They told me that they want more shooters on the team. They already have a lot of penetrators. They just need more shooters that they can kick it out to. And that's what I'm going to try to do."

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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