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Poly faces Dunbar for Baltimore City Division I boys basketball title Saturday

Poly's Cleveland Horton (2) and Rahim Ali strip Dunbar guard Davonte Ayers (11) of the ball at Coach Wade Court on Feb. 9, 2018.
Poly's Cleveland Horton (2) and Rahim Ali strip Dunbar guard Davonte Ayers (11) of the ball at Coach Wade Court on Feb. 9, 2018. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore City Division I boys basketball championship

No. 4 Poly (16-6) vs. No. 5 Dunbar (20-2)

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When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Where: Morgan State

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Coaches: Sam Brand, Poly; Cyrus Jones Sr., Dunbar

KEY PLAYERS

Poly: Demetrius Mims, Sr., G; Justin Lewis, So., F

Dunbar: Da’Shawn Phillip, Sr., G; Jamal West Jr., So., F

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KEYS TO VICTORY

The teams played a playoff-like game last Friday with plenty on the line as Poly rallied on the road for a 65-61 win. It assured the Engineers a spot in the title game and was the Poets’ first loss of the season. Lewis took over the game with a dominant second half — scoring 25 of his career-high 36 points after the break with West spending much of the time on bench in foul trouble. That will be a key matchup in Saturday’s title game with both players able to take over a game inside. Mims and Phillip are both enjoying fine senior seasons and have been the leaders of their respective teams. Both have taken team-first approaches and can do big and little things to bring home wins. Strong supporting casts should also help make for a tightly contested game and which team can get significant contributions from others could prove the difference. The Engineers also feature sophomore point guard Rahim Ali, senior Cleveland Horton and junior forward Armani Walker. The Poets have often jumped out front in games with their perimeter shooting, led by senior guards Malik McCormick and Zephaniah Esguerra. McCormick led the Poets with 20 points in the teams’ regular-season meeting.

Also Saturday at Morgan State

Boys basketball

Baltimore City Division II championship

Digital Harbor vs. National Academy Foundation, 2 p.m.

Girls basketball

Baltimore City Division II championship

Forest Park vs. Southwestern, noon

Baltimore City Division I championship

Poly vs. Western, 4 p.m.

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