Poly girls basketball coach Mark T. Sawyer has stressed defense to his team throughout the season.
Last night, the Engineers defense complemented a run-and-shoot offense, leading Poly past Dulaney, 49-35, in a Class 4A, Region II first-round game at Poly.
Fourth seed Poly (16-7), which extended its winning streak to eight games, will play at top seed Western in a semifinal tomorrow.
First-half turnovers, four on fast-break opportunities, prevented No. 5 seed Dulaney (14-7) from getting into the game and setting up plays.
The Engineers allowed the Lions one basket in the first quarter and then went on an 11-0 run.
The Lions picked up their game in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 of their 35 points, but it was too late.
"We just weren't in it tonight," Dulaney coach Elaine Lindsay said. "We've played teams just as tough as this during the season, but we didn't have it tonight."
Dulaney worked the ball inside to seniors Carrie Bell (18 points) and Jennifer Jones (11) but had trouble hitting shots from the perimeter.
"It wasn't that we weren't getting the shots. It's just that nothing would go in," Lindsay said.
The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Lions.
"We knew they were going to slow it down and we were going to try and pick it up tonight," Sawyer said. "We won the game with our man-to-man defense."
Poly also won with rebounding. Shernale Vann, the lone senior starter, had a team-high 16.
Poly freshman Kelly Logan led all scorers with 21 points.
The Engineers came out in the second half with a press and half-court trap. Kenya Holman's layup with 20 seconds left in the third quarter gave Poly a 36-15 lead going into the final eight minutes.