The No. 8 City boys basketball team gained a lot from a 68-53 win over No. 12 Poly on Friday in a regular-season finale that helped to determine the final spot in next week's Baltimore City Division I championship game.
A strong collective effort led the Knights (17-5, 10-2 in Baltimore City Division I) to the victory over the visiting Engineers. The win helped City put aside the disappointing performance that came in Tuesday's 61-45 home loss to No. 3 Dunbar.
But City's win ultimately proved to help No. 6 Edmondson the most as the Red Storm, which defeated Patterson on Friday, 70-52, advanced to play defending champion Dunbar in Tuesday's Division I city championship at Morgan State.
On Jan. 9, Dunbar came from behind to beat Edmondson, 82-75, in triple overtime. The two teams will meet again, with game time set for 7:30 p.m.
"It's a great feeling. I'm just proud of the kids with all the obstacles we've had over the course of the season," Edmondson coach Darnell Dantzler said. "The first time [against Dunbar], we let one slip away. So it's karma that we have the chance to play them again."
Poly, Edmondson and City all came into Friday's games with a 9-2 record in the league. Poly (16-6, 9-3) just needed to win to gain the spot in the title game.
With City winning, however, it was Edmondson's win over City earlier in the season that gave the Red Storm (17-4, 10-2) the spot on a tiebreaker.
Edmondson senior guards Isaiah Tripp (22 points) and Darrius Hubbard (19) led the way as the Red Storm turned a 25-24 lead at halftime against visiting Patterson into a comfortable win with a dominating second half.
City coach Daryl Wade let out a disappointing sigh when he heard news that the Red Storm won to keep his Knights from the title game. But there were too many positives from Friday's win to keep him down for long as the Knights now look toward the Class 3A North regional playoffs.
With junior guard Omari George leading four players in double figures, the Knights scored the game's first eight points and led by as many as 16 points early in the second half.
Every time Poly came close, they had an answer.
When Poly's junior guard John Crosby hit a jumper to cut the lead to 47-41 with 40 seconds left in the third quarter, the Knights went on a 6-1 run to get the lead back up to double digits.
City limited the Engineers to two field goals in the fourth quarter.
Knights sophomore guard Blair Davis finished with 15 points, junior Tim Bond added 14 and John Grant had 11, more than enough to offset 20 points from Crosby and 15 from Poly's Darrion Graham-Stokes.
"Real impressed — different team from Tuesday," Wade said. "We came out and did a better job of pressuring the ball and doing some good thngs – rebounding – it was just a good all-around effort."
8 City 68, 12 Poly 53
P – Crosby 20, Stokes-Graham 15, White 7, Kelly 6, Wyche 3, Quickley 2. Totals: 17 14-20 53
C – George 19, Davis 15, Bond 14, Ju. Grant 8, Jo. Grant 11, Fisher 1. Totals: 24 16-28 68
Half: C, 32-18.
6 Edmondson 70, Patterson 52