It only counted as two points for No. 8 Poly, but junior De'Vondre Perry's powerful one-handed dunk off a lob sent from Christian Chong-Qui best portrayed what separated the visiting Engineers from No. 4 Patterson on Tuesday.
Poly was stronger, quicker, more precise and more hungry than the Clippers throughout the game. Perry's emphatic jam came on the Engineers' opening possession of the second quarter after they had already built a comfortable, double-digit lead as part of a dominating 62-47 statement win over Patterson.
Perry, a 6-foot-6 swing guard, finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, 6-8 senior center Jordan Jones added 13 points and nine boards, and Chong-Qui scored 12 points and had five assists as Poly (8-2) improved to 3-0 in Baltimore City's Division I. Patterson, which struggled with the Engineers zone defense throughout the game, goes to 7-2 overall and 0-2 in league play.
After losing six Baltimore City league games by three points or less last season, the more experienced Engineers are so far this season making the most of the lessons they learned. It showed in Tuesday's important showdown against the Clippers, who reached last year's city and Class 2A state championship games.
"We endured a lot last year. I've got a lot of faith in this group and when we come together and play the right way — play together — we're tough to beat," Poly coach Sam Brand said. "We develop guys, we've grown together and this team is a result of that. So I'm happy that we're starting to enjoy some success and it's just the beginning. I'm going to do my best to keep these guys hungry, as they should be."
The Engineers started fast, Perry opening with a 3-pointer to start an 11-0 run, and they never looked back with a mix of outside shooting, transition baskets and a tough 2-3 zone puzzling the Clippers. Perry started the second quarter with the dunk for a 19-6 lead that would grow to 21 when Chong-Qui hit a 3-pointer late in the half. The Clippers, who were frustrated trying to drive to the basket and were cold from the outside, made only six of 29 shots in the determining first half.
"We knew they were going to try to jump at us early, play a little junk defense and we just knew to stay patient and make the right pass," said Perry. "[On defense], we're really long, so we knew a zone would really give them trouble because they couldn't penetrate."
The Clippers played a better second half, but couldn't get any closer than 12 points late in the game. Senior guard Todd Closson led them with 14 points, while Daquan Jones came off the bench to score 10 in the fourth quarter.
"Poly was just way better than us tonight at every facet of the game. They played better and coached better," Patterson coach Harry Martin said. "They knew where to be and played within themselves as a team. One thing we pride ourselves in doing is playing with heart and passion and tonight we played [with] neither."
8 Poly 62, 4 Patterson 47
PO–Perry 18, Chong-Qui 12, Jones 13, Mims 6, Mosley 7, Tate 2, Thornton 2, Stephens 2. Totals: 20 18-26 62
PA– Hibbert 8, Okoye 4, Adams 3, Closson 14, Jones 10, Williams 4, Turmon 4. Totals: 17 9-18 47
Half: Poly, 32-14