Edgewood ran out to a 20-point third-quarter lead and held on to beat visiting James M. Bennett, 46-33, in a girls Class 2A, Region IV opening-round playoff game yesterday.
The Rams, who finished third in the Harford County League, will meet second seed Wicomico (19-1) at 5 p.m. tomorrow in Salisbury.
Yesterday, Bennett, also from Salisbury, remained close early on, but the Clippers could not contend with Edgewood's domination of the boards or its quickness on defense.
The third-seeded Rams (15-8) out-rebounded the Clippers 56-28. Together Edgewood's Nichole Wilson (16) and Kareema Holmes (12) matched the Clippers' rebound total.
The Rams had 19 second chances and held the Clippers to nine follow shots -- six in the fourth quarter.
In the first quarter, the Rams' man-to-man defense held the Clippers (12-9) to four shots. A combination of their defense and a 1-3-1 zone helped the Rams outshoot the Eastern Shore team 64-46.
"We played excellent defense," said Edgewood coach Matt Rankin, who got a superb defensive performance from Shelby Washington, first off the bench. "I don't think people realize how good defense Edgewood plays. I would say that's the strongest part of our game. If we concentrate on defense, our points are going to come."
The Clippers stayed with the Rams in the early going, taking a 6-4 lead. But Edgewood answered with 10 straight points including six from Holmes.
The 5-7 senior guard sparked the rally hitting a follow shot to tie and then a jumper in the paint and a layup on feeds from Erika Pleasant. Wilson added a jumper on a nice spin move, and Santana rolled in a driving layup to cap the run and give the Rams a 14-6 lead late in the quarter.
In the second quarter, the Rams' zone held the Clippers to two points.
At halftime, Edgewood led 23-10.
After Holmes fed Wilson for a 32-12 lead with 2:50 left in the third quarter, Rankin went to his bench. The Clippers quickly rallied, outscoring the Rams 12-2 during the next four minutes.
In the fourth quarter, the starters returned to end the Clippers' flurry.