No. 4 Poly drops Forest Park, secures return to Baltimore City girls basketball final; Addison and Clark combine for 37 (VIDEO HERE!)

Juniors Da’Brya Clark (left) and Riley Holliday was part of a solid defensive showing for Poly girls basketball Tuesday. The fourth-ranked Engineers defeated No. 14 Forest Park to clinch a spot in the Baltimore City championship game later this month.

by Derek Toney

Poly High girls basketball knows it hasn’t hit its peak. But the fourth-ranked Engineers are returning to a familiar place. 

Poly defeated No. 14 Forest Park, 68-38, in a Baltimore City Division II contest in Northwest Baltimore. Taylor Addison had a game-high 22 points for the Engineers, and Da’Brya Clark added 13.

The Cold Spring Lane school (9-1 overall, 3-0 Division II) led by as many as 37 points, clinching a spot in the City title game. The three-time reigning City champs will meet No. 3 Western later this month at Morgan State University.

Western handed the Engineers’ their only loss, 63-53, on their home court nearly three weeks ago. It was Poly’s first league setback since Jan. 2018 (lost to Western).

“It’s coming together, they’re starting to play a little harder,” said Poly coach Kendall Peace-Able. “They’re understanding their roles.”

Peace-Able, whose team has won six straight, added the Engineers’ defensive effort has improved.

“It’s something that we got to have,” said Clark.

“That’s what will take you far in the playoffs,” said Peace-Able. “If you commit to making stops…I don’t think we got the stops we should’ve gotten today.”

The Engineers swarmed Forest Park from the opening tip Tuesday, holding the visitors to a basket in securing a 14-2 advantage after the first. The lead grew to 30-8 in the second on a 3-pointer from Brianna Johnson, then Addision banged a  runner from about 60 feet with four seconds left, giving Poly a 41-16 advantage.

“We’ve been having trouble starting the game with good tempo,” said Clark.

A layup from Trinity Massenburg pushed the lead into the 30’s at 53-22 in the third. In the fourth, Addison dropped a more conventional 3-pointer from the corner for a 63-26 advantage.

Amora Alston and Aliyah Carroll each scored 11 points for Forest Park (6-2, 1-1 Division II)

The Engineers next have their toughest challenge since Western, playing at No. 2 and reigning IAAM A Conference champ St. Frances Academy Saturday evening in the final match of the Public vs. Private Challenge.

“We’re ready…we want to take all the defensive preparation and play our style,” said Clark. “We’re ready.”

No. 4 Poly 68, No. 14 Forest Park 38

Forest Park – Alston 11, Carroll 11, Holmes 9, Bumbray 5, Jones 2. Totals 16 4-10 38.

Poly – Taylor 22, Clark 15, Holiday 7, Johnson 7, Massenburg 6, Lowery 4, Makumi 4, Murray 2.  Totals 27 7-9 68.

Forest Park 2 14 12 10 – 38

Poly 16 25 20 7 – 68