Category: Poly Girls Basketball
No. 8 Poly dismantles St. Charles for 3A South girls' basketball crown; Lilly and Townes combine for 30
by AJ Mason
Special to VSN
Poly High's girls' basketball team went through some growing pains last season with a lot of freshmen and sophomores.
Now, coach Kendall Peace-Able is seeing a much more mature team.
The maturity showed in Saturday afternoon's Class 3A South Region championship game as the eighth-ranked Engineers had little trouble in a 72-45 victory over visiting St. Charles from Charles County to claim the region crown.
Poly (20-4 overall) completed a strong regional playoff run that featured key wins this week in the Section I bracket over Baltimore rival City College, and an upset over top-seed Oxon Hill of Prince George's County before cruising to a win in the Saturday's region final.
Next for the Cold Spring Lane school is No. 6 Long Reach, Thursday night at 9 p.m. at Towson University's SECU Arena. The Lightning captured their region title with a victory over Chesapeake-Anne Arundel in the East final Saturday.
“We are very young and they're have fun, so I think that the biggest thing,” said Peace-Able, who will guide her alma-mater to an eighth state final four. “They were young last year, but have now experienced a lot of hard games. So the girls are buying in and feel like they can accomplish anything. They're growing up.”
The Engineers used their matchup zone defense to force numerous St. Charles turnovers, while rolling up the transition points and were just too quick all-around.
With hot shooting in the first half, Poly, which had six of its seven threes in that span, quickly took a 19-3 in the first quarter and had a commanding 37-8 lead at halftime that they didn't relinquish.
“This was the third game of the week for us, so I wanted to preserve their bodies,” said Peace-Able. “We were able to get St. Charles in a hole early and I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to contribute and get a taste of playing in the regional championship moving forward.”
The Spartans (16-8), who scored just two field goals in the first half, managed to outscore Poly, 37-35, in the second half, notching 24 points in the third period, but the deficit was just too much to overcome.
Poly had four players in double figures as Janya Lilly finished with a team-high 16 points, Brashae Rice and Dasia Townes each scored 14 points. Cache' Wilson added 10 points in the win.
St. Charles senior guard Desirae Shephard led all scorers with 28 points, scoring 23 of those in the second half. It was the first-ever regional final for appearance for the St. Charles girls program.
“Again, we got here to play in the regional championship for the first time ever,” said Smith, whose team defeated top-seed Great Mills 47-44 in Thursday night's Section II bracket final. “My hats off are to Poly, they are well-coached and executed and that is why they are the regional champs. They were athletic, they got back on defense and were tough. They didn't take any plays off.”
Class 3A South Region girls' basketball championship
No. 8 Poly 72, St. Charles 45
St. Charles: Shepard 28, Jones 10, Austin 5, Walton 2. Totals 11 19-27 45.
Poly: Lilly 16, Townes 14, Rice 14, Wilson 10, Ridgeway 6, Gross 5, Eaddy 3, Jones 4. Totals 23 18-21 72.
St. Charles 3 5 24 13 - 45
Poly 19 18 18 17 - 72