Poly girls basketball coach Mark Sawyer wasn't expecting any miracles in last night's Class 4A, Region II semifinal with No. 1 Western.
If he was, he would have been disappointed.
Playing without starting point guards Erika Dailey (flu) and Kimberly Smith (sprained foot) and sophomore forward Lisa Jackson (flu), the top-seeded Doves maintained their undefeated status by soaring to a 72-34 triumph over their neighboring rival ,, Engineers.
Western (23-0) will play host to Laurel at 1 p.m. tomorrow for the region championship and an invitation to the state tournament that begins next Thursday at UMBC.
"This is the first time in my eight years of coaching at Poly that I've had a team that even thought they could play with Western, and that's a moral victory in and of itself," said Sawyer, who already had endured two regular-season losses to Western by scores of 99-13 and 69-31.
"Every other year we've had teams that the game was over before it even started. We just knew we weren't going to win. It wasn't like that this year in any of the games we played against them."
The Engineers were plagued by turnovers in the first quarter, which enabled the Doves to open up a 10-0 lead following a short jumper by 6-foot senior forward Kelly Evans.
A breakaway layup by Poly freshman forward Kelly Logan ended the Engineers' scoring dought 3:29 into the contest, and a three-pointer by Logan in the waning seconds of the period made it 21-9 after one quarter.
Western opened the second quarter with an 8-1 run that gave it a 29-10 lead with 4:56 left in the half. However, Poly closed the half with an 8-2 run that pulled the Engineers to 35-22.
"We were very, very sluggish and very lackadaisical," said Western coach Breezy Bishop. "I thought we were looking to Saturday instead of today's game."