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No. 2 Poly girls beats No. 7 City for Division 1 basketball championship

It’s tough enough to beat your archrival once in a season. Poly’s girls basketball team has done it twice in less than a week.

The No. 2 Engineers followed Tuesday’s regular season win over No. 7 City with a surprisingly-lopsided 68-47 victory Saturday for their second Baltimore City Division I championship in three years at Morgan State’s Hill Field House.

After Poly’s 50-45 win on Tuesday, the Engineers used a quick start and a 25-15 edge on the boards in the first half to build a 17-point lead midway through Saturday’s second quarter. City never got closer than 12 points.

“We just had to remind ourselves what we needed to work on from the first game and apply those changes to this game,” Poly guard Khepera Stokes said. “We have to believe in ourselves, believe in each other and at the end of the day, it’s good.”

By halftime, the Engineers led 40-22, but City rallied with the first six points of the second half, starting with Dyzhanay Burton’s 3-pointer. The rally, however, stalled when Poly’s Aneah Young hit a 15-footer. Three minutes later, Stokes dished out one of her four assists to Young for a 3-pointer and a 46-28 Engineers lead.

Four Poly players finished in double figures —Teira Pendleton, with 18 points; Stokes, 14; Nkeiruka Okororie, 12; and Jasmine Smith, who had 10 points and six assists. Burton led the Knights with 13 points and three assists and DeAsia Meyers added 11.

The Knights (19-3) likely will get another shot at Poly next week in the Class 3A East sectional playoffs. The Engineers (22-1), who lost their only game to Bethlehem Catholic (Pa.) in a holiday tournament, should be the top seed in the section that also includes Digital Harbor, No. 14 Mount Hebron, Long Reach and Centennial.

Stokes got Poly rolling, scoring the first basket in just seven seconds and then added four more points in the Engineers’ opening 9-5 run.

The Knights cut the lead to two before Poly extended its lead to 19-9 when Stokes fed Okororie, who completed a three-point play, and then assisted Smith’s 3-pointer.

The Engineers opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run for a 27-13 lead and just kept rolling. They finished the half with a five-point run, including two Pendleton baskets off feeds from Smith.

The Knights got in foul trouble early and 5-foot-10 Shamara Bell, who led the battle Tuesday against Poly’s tough inside game, picked up her third foul in less than four minutes and was sent to the bench.

After the Engineers’ run to open the second quarter, City coach George Petrides put Bell back in the game. She finished with nine rebounds and went 5-for-8 from the free-throw line.

Division I

No. 2 Poly 68, No. 7 City 47

C—Meyers 11, Burton 13, Bell 5, Ko.Sydnor 7, Carrington 5, Muslim 2, Madden 2, Ka.Sydnor 2. Totals 16 13-24 47.

P—Smith 10, Stokes 14, Young 7, Pendleton 18, Pearson 2, Horne 2, Okororie 12, Curbeam 3. Totals 23 19-26 68. Half: P, 40-22.

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