POLY 70, ST. FRANCES 63 (OT) Poly tops No. 1 St. Frances

Robin­son scores 21 points, En­gi­neers end game on an 8-1 run to de­feat Pan­thers

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - VARSITY - By Kyle J. An­drews

Sec­ond-ranked Poly won the bat­tle for Bal­ti­more’s top girls bas­ket­ball rank­ing, de­feat­ing No. 1-ranked St. Frances 70-63 in over­time in the Wil­liam Wells Clas­sic at Mor­gan State on Satur­day.

Ju­nior Te­nea Robin­son could not play in last year’s matchup, due to a con­cus­sion, but she an­swered the call this year for Poly, scor­ing a team-high 21 points — 13 on free throws.

“Te­nea is a jack of all trades,” said team­mate Da­sia Townes, who had 16 points. “You can’t de­fend her. If you think she’s go­ing to drive, she’s go­ing to pull it up. If you think she’s go­ing to pull it up, she’s go­ing to drive. If you don’t think she’s go­ing to make the steal, she’s go­ing to make the steal. You never know what you’re get­ting from Te­nea. To­day wasn’t a sur­prise for me. I knew that she was go­ing to get it done.”

The game came down to stop­ping ESPN’s No. 2-ranked player in the coun­try, An­gel Reese. The Mary­land com­mit scored a game-high 26 points and was in com­manded on the of­fen­sive and de­fen­sive ends for St. Frances. How­ever, she got into foul trou­ble early and even­tu­ally fouled out be­fore over­time.

With St. Frances’ sec­ond-lead­ing scorer Aniya Gour­dine also foul­ing out, Poly cap­i­tal­ized after reg­u­la­tion.

Tied at 62, Poly coach Ken­dall PeaceAble got her team into the hud­dle be­fore over­time, telling them to slow things and cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties. Her play­ers re­sponded with mul­ti­ple trips to the foul line — es­pe­cially with point guard Cach’e Wil­son’s two late free throws and a bucket.

“Be pa­tient, things will come when they need to,” Peace-Able said. “Just stay dis­ci­plined with the things that we’ve been do­ing — we weren’t step­ping out­side of our spec­trum. We were al­ready in the bonus, so we needed to make sure that we were at­tack­ing the rim and do­ing the things and be­ing pa­tient in the of­fense, ap­ply­ing the pres­sure and mak­ing sure we made them think.”

Poly over­came a 12-point deficit in the third quar­ter. How­ever, the game started with Reese scor­ing eight early points and seem­ingly get­ting to the line at will. St. Frances led at the end of the first quar­ter 18-13.

Robin­son kept Poly close in the sec­ond quar­ter with 10 points and eight of them com­ing from the free-throw line. They still trailed 31-25 at the half.

After go­ing down by 12 points early in the third quar­ter, Townes stepped up to score seven points in the quar­ter and Robin­son added five more to tie the game up at 42-42.

De­spite be­ing in con­trol for the fourth quar­ter with 12 points, Reese fouled out with just less than a minute re­main­ing in reg­u­la­tion. Da’Brya Clark drove to the hole and was fouled for Poly. She then made both free throws, be­fore St. Frances added two points to tie on Anani Humphrey’s shot at 62-62.

Wil­son and Robin­son were the he­roes of over­time with stout de­fen­sive play and the abil­ity to make key free throws giv­ing Poly the win.

St. Frances head coach Jerome Shel­ton un­der­stood with­out his top two ball han­dlers his team had to re­spond.

“We’ve been in this sit­u­a­tion be­fore and we re­sponded in a pos­i­tive man­ner,” Shel­ton said. “So, our be­hav­ior in this game was very un­char­ac­ter­is­tic of what we’ve seen through the first 18 games. Poly was pre­pared to play to­day and they forced us into some poor de­ci­sion mak­ing and we didn’t re­spond well.”

Poly 70, St. Frances 63

Half­time: 31-25, St. Frances

BPI (16-1): T. Robin­son 21, D. Townes 16, D. Clark 15, C. Wil­son 10, K. Full­wood 3, K. Fer­gu­son 2, J. Gross 2

SFA (17-2): A. Reese 26, A. Gour­dine 14, A. Humphrey 7, K. Turner 7, C. Barnes 6, D. Dorsey 2, K. Dorsey 2

KYLE J. AN­DREWS/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

Poly head coach Ken­dall Peace-Able gath­ers her team in a hud­dle dur­ing a 70-63 over­time vic­tory over St. Frances.

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