FORT MYERS — Port Charlotte High School girls basketball coach Mike Progl wanted to give his team a taste of what it’s like to play one of the top programs in the state.
It tasted like castor oil to the Pirates.
Dunbar had its way with Port Charlotte, scoring the first 22 points of the game and forcing a running clock in the second half as it rolled to a 59-15 win Wednesday in a non-district contest.
The game had all the excitement of an old Saturday morning WWF wrestling match, with the Pirates playing Johnny Rodz as the Tigers beat them from pillar to post.
Progl said he hoped this kind of game would toughen up Port Charlotte (9-4).
“We need some of these games. The girls understand not every game is going to be easy and that teams are made from adversity,” Progl said. “Sometimes you have to play teams better than you to see where you need to be.”
The Pirates saw it all right. Dunbar (16-2) pressed early and it seemed the girls had radar, jumping every pass and running downcourt for easy baskets. The Tigers shut out the Pirates in the first quarter and had a 46-5 lead at the half.
Shania Church led the Tigers with 14 points, with Corbria Crawford adding 11. No Pirates scored more than three points, an honor shared by five players to account for all the scoring.
Even Dunbar coach Dwayne Donnell, who was honored after the game for the 500th career win which he earned Dec. 29 against Miami Christian, was surprised by how his team played, especially defensively.
“That was one of the best defensive efforts we had all season. We said in pregame we needed to get turnovers and get into transition,” Donnell said. “In pregame we were hoping we could get off to a strong start. Port Charlotte was big.”
Progl said there were positives as the Pirates got out of the hype of living in the moment after that first quarter, which allowed them to handle the press better.
“It was a learning experience and the girls didn’t quit. We have to get better every time we have a ball in our hands,” Progl said. “No matter the score we have to keep playing. There’s always a positive to take out of anything.”
DUNBAR 59, PORT CHARLOTTE 15
Port Charlotte 0 5 6 4 — 15
Dunbar 22 24 10 3 — 59
Port Charlotte (15): Henderson 3, Joseph 3, Romain 3, Larson 3, Qualls 3. Totals 5(3) 2-4 15.
Dunbar (59): Shania Church 14, Corbria Crawford 11, Powell 8, Mottley 7, Williams 7, Williamson 4, Mejia 4, Oceant 4. Totals: 23(3) 10-18 59.