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Varsity roundup (March 5): No. 9 Poly girls pummel Towson in 3A North

The Poly girls are headed back to the state tournament.

No. 9 Poly earned its fifth straight trip to the final four as the host Engineers ran up a 16-point lead at the half and built it to 34 midway through the fourth quarter to win 66-36 over Towson in Class 3A North on Saturday.

The Engineers (20-5) were quicker on the outside and dominated in the paint against the Generals (20-4) as forward Jewel Porter led the way with 15 points. Guards Khepera Stokes and Janya Lilly added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

"We just has to trust in each other, play hard, play together as a team," Stokes said. "On defense, we had to make sure to play sound, put pressure on them, since we knew that they were probably pretty good shooters. Just play as a team and have fun."

The Generals, a 2-18 team before third-year coach Rebecca Moyer took over, were seeded second in their section, but after C. Milton Wright upset No. 8 Aberdeen in the sectional semifinal, Towson beat C.Milton Wright in the sectional final to earn the regional-title match with Poly.

Guard Emily German led the Generals with 10 points.

In the second half, the Generals cut into Poly's lead when Tr'Shiya Hollis and Nicole Guy-Thomas hit the first two shots after the break to pull within 27-15, but the Engineers went on a 15-4 run capped by a follow shot by Stokes.

The Generals then scored five unanswered points, but Poly came back with a nine-point run for a 51-24 lead early in the final quarter.

The Engineers, who fell in the state semifinals last year to eventual champion Milford Mill, will meet Northern of Calvert County in the semifinals Thursday at 7 p.m.

Both teams will be aiming for their first state championship.

Forest Park 59, Lake Clifton 50: In a rematch of last year's Class 1A South regional final, the Foresters (2-1) prevailed again in a game of spurts as they closed out the victory with a 15-8 run.

"It feels unbelievable," Foresters junior guard Mackelle Randolph said. "We came out slow in the beginning and — I'm not going to lie — I doubted us at first, but I saw that we wanted it. I think it came down to heart.

"We wanted it more. ... I owe this win all to my team."

The Lakers' Ebony Gregg, who finished with 24 points, hit three free throws to bring her team within 44-42 with 2:43 left, but Foresters sophomore guard Shania Gales then hit a 3-pointer to spark her team.

Gales, who scored five of her six points in the final stretch, dished out assists to Tiffany Rice (20 points) and Nakyiah Johnson and, in between, hit a layup off a steal to run the Forest Park lead to 57-45 with 35 seconds left.

No. 2 McDonogh 64, No. 1 St. Frances 62: After losing to St. Frances three times this winter, the Eagles upset the Panthers in the consolation game at the Bishop Walsh Girls Invitational Tournament in Cumberland.

Freshman guard Aleah Nelson hit seven 3-pointers and led the Eagles (22-5) with 22 points. She hit five 3-pointers in the first half.

The Eagles built as much as a 16-point lead early in the second half. The Panthers, who defeated the Eagles for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship last month, closed to within a point, but the Eagles held on for the victory.

"We shot the ball really well," McDonogh coach Brad Rees said. "We were up 12 with about two minutes to go and couldn't make a free throw or a layup down the stretch and they kept fighting. It was a well-played game. Aleah Nelson was phenomenal shooting and that was a big difference."

St. Frances (25-5) played the tournament with just six players and was without starting center Tyanna Custis. Junior forward Mia Davis scored 13 points and had 19 rebounds, and senior guard Tyeisha Smith had 16 points, two steals and two assists.

McDonogh was also missing a starter, lacrosse player Savannah Buchanan. Senior forward Andrea Robinson had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Eagles.

Also at the Bishop Walsh Tournament, No. 4 Seton Keough (18-10) fell to Elizabeth Seton, 57-36, in the fifth-place game. Kaila Jenning had eight points for the Gators.

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Williamsport 63, No. 15 Liberty 31: From nearly the moment Williamsport center Olivia Coleman won the game's opening tip, the tone was set.

The Wildcats (20-4) got easy looks, and the Lions (16-8) couldn't knock down a shot. And for the second straight season, the Lions went on the road for the Class 2A West regional final and were unable to return to Eldersburg victorious.

 

—Jake Rill,

Baltimore Sun Media Group

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