Poly boys basketball coach Sam Brand constantly preaches the importance of unselfish play. That's why guards John Crosby and Brandon Lindsey made Brand a happy man Friday night.
Crosby finished with 22 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds while Lindsey added 29 points. They proved too much for visiting Woodrow Wilson (D.C.) as No. 8 Poly pulled away in the second half for an 85-55 victory.
The game almost didn't get played. It was scheduled to be part of the Spark at the Park tournament at Forest Park. But after a fight broke out during the Owings Mills-Forest Park game Thursday, the rest of the event was canceled.
Brand and Wilson coach Andre Williams connected Friday morning, though, and when Brand discovered Poly's gym was available, the schools shifted the game there.
Poly (4-0) stuck with the same weapons throughout the game — good passing and patience on offense plus solid transition play. That combination helped the Engineers go on several scoring runs that Wilson (2-2) couldn't overcome, as the Tigers often shot quickly on their possessions.
"If we play consistently unselfish basketball, we're going to win games," Brand said. "I felt like the guys stayed the course tonight."
Poly went on a 10-0 run midway through the first quarter after Wilson cut its lead to one. The Engineers had a 15-4 streak in the second quarter and had their best run in the third quarter, one that broke the game open.
Wilson's Khyree Robinson (11 points) made a 3-pointer that cut Poly's lead to 45-40 with 4:45 left in the third. The Engineers then reeled off nine straight points as the start of 16-2 run that put them in command.
Lindsey scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half, with 13 coming in the third quarter. Crosby repeatedly drove into the lane, drew double-teams and kicked the ball out to Lindsey.
"They had all their eyes on [Crosby]," Lindsey said. "You can't play five-on-one."
Poly never blinked when the Tigers made runs. The Engineers often just played harder, found good shots and stepped up their defense.
Wilson was able to make shots, but the Tigers had to work to get them.
"We wanted to limit their easy shots," Crosby said. "They were going to have to play good offense against ... our defense."
Poly also got 13 points apiece from Darius Kelly and Terray Quickley. Jordan Jones came off the bench in the second half and pulled down seven rebounds, giving the Engineers a lift at both ends.
Dimone Long led Wilson with 18 points as the Tigers lost for the second time in two nights. City beat them in the Forest Park tournament on Thursday.
Even though his team lost, Williams said he was glad they game took place. The Tigers were missing two starters due to suspensions, but Williams said playing better defense would have made a difference.
"We have to improve our transition defense," he said. "They put up points in bunches, and that hurt us tonight."
Poly 85, Wilson (D.C.) 55
W-Long 18, Holmes 10, Robinson 11, Petty 7, Slaughter 4, Preece 2, Hyatt 2, Burch 1. Totals: 22 7-19 55.
P-Crosby 22, Thompson 3, Lindsey 29, Jones 2, Kelly 13, Quickley 13, Leak 1, McCray 2. Totals: 32 11-16 85.