Poly's Aneah Young wasn't happy about sitting much of the second quarter with two fouls in Saturday's girls basketball showdown with Milford Mill, so she quickly made up for it.
Young scored the No. 2 Engineers' first eight points of the second half and sparked them to a 66-56 comeback victory over the No. 4 Millers at the 18th Annual Basketball Academy at Morgan State.
"I had to come out explosive, because I let my team down when I got two fouls and had to come out" of the game, said Young, a 6-1 forward-guard who scored 19 of her 21 points in the second half. "I had to get us back in the game and get some momentum going."
Milford Mill, which suffered its first loss of the season, dictated the pace of a close first half with its speed and took a five-point lead on Qierra Murray's runner to open the second half. Young then finished a three-point play and hit two free throws to tie the game at 29 less than two minutes into the half.
A six-point Millers spurt led by guards Murray and Dionna White gave Milford its biggest lead of the game, 35-29, before Young capped another three-point play. White fed Kelli Smoot for a layup and Akiri Lewis hit a free throw before Jayda Pearson's 3-pointer and Young's follow cut the six-point lead to one.
The Engineers' superior inside game was missing for much of the first half, when they had only four second-chance points. But they had 18 in the second half, including Teira Pendelton's follow that gave Poly the lead for good, 39-38, with 40 seconds left in the third quarter.
Poly (13-1) went on to finish a 14-0 run on Young's follow a minute into the fourth quarter for a 46-38 lead. After Smoot hit a free throw, the Engineers scored seven more points, with Pendelton's three-point play boosting the Poly lead to 53-39.
The Millers (11-1) would cut it to seven on a free throw by White with 1:49 left, but Poly, which also got 16 points from Khepera Stokes, answered with six straight points, all off its inside game.
"I think most of our heads were somewhere else" in the first half, said Pendleton, who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds. "I don't know where they were, but we weren't playing team basketball. It was kind of an individual kind of thing. We realized in the second half, we play team basketball. That's what we've done all season, so that's what we had to step up and do."
Early on, the Millers used their speed, especially with guards White, Murray and Smoot, to push the tempo and keep the Engineers' offense out of sync. White, a two-time All-Metro guard, finished with 28 points and 17 rebounds, while Murray had 14 points and three assists.
"We started rushing and let them dictate the pace of the game instead of just being calm, and that was what worked for us in the first half," Milford Mill coach DeToiya McAliley said of the third quarter. "Poly was very tenacious as always, and if they're behind, they're going to work hard. We have to learn how to maintain, learn time management and to do things that will help us be successful at the end of the game."
No. 11 City 69, No. 14 New Town 37: All-Metro guard Dyzhanay Burton scored 18 points and DeAsia Meyers added 15 as the Knights (13-1) rolled over New Town at the 18th Annual Basketball Academy. The Knights built a 23-point lead early in the second quarter and coasted from there. Tiana Davis led the Titans (10-3) with 10 points.
Eastside (N.J.) 65, No. 7 Aberdeen 32: The Eagles fell behind by 18 points early in the second quarter and could not catch the Ghosts, who got 17 points from Taylor Brown. Stephanie Jones led the Eagles (8-6) with nine points, 14 rebounds and three assists.
No. 2 Poly 66, No. 4 Milford Mill 56
P—Smith 5, Stokes 16, Young 21, Newton 2, Pendleton 16, Pearson 3, Horne 3. Totals 19 25-39 66.
MM—Murray 14, Smoot 6, White 28, Thompson 2, Lewis 2, McKenzie 3, Weems 1. Totals: 17 18-31 56.
Half: MM, 27-24.
No. 11 City 69, No. 14 New Town 37
C—Meyers 15, Burton 18, Bell 5, Ko.Sydnor 5, Muslim 5, Carrington 10, Ka.Sydnor 4, Marshall 6. Totals: 27 9-17 69.
NT—Taylor-Betts 8, Taylor 6, Hines 9, Davis 10, Thompson 4. Totals: 14 6-14 37. Half: C, 40-17.
Eastside (N.J.) 65, No. 7 Aberdeen 32
E—Diaz 6, James 9, Brown 17, Adams 6, Featherson 12, Flood 4, Gerald 6, Do.Salas 5. Totals 23 12-18 65.
A—Norton 8, Eller 4, Sanderson 4, Jones 9, Palmer 5, Williams 2. Totals: 10 10-12 32. Half: E, 32-19.