In 3A, Poly pounds Centennial, 88-61

March 02, 1994|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Sun Staff Writer

The only surprising thing about yesterday's Class 3A East first-round playoff game was the first quarter.

By the end of it, sixth-seeded Centennial, a heavy underdog, trailed third-seeded Poly 19-17.

In the second quarter, however, the Engineers left no doubt which was the superior team, outscoring the Eagles 26-9 and taking a 45-26 halftime lead.

Centennial (12-11) opened the third quarter with an eight-point run to close the gap to 45-34, but Poly (16-6) dominated the rest of the game, winning, 88-61, and will play second-seeded Mount Hebron tomorrow.

"We usually come out a little sluggish, but once we get warmed up, we usually play well," Poly senior forward Brian Scott said. Scott led all scorers with 19 points and added nine rebounds.

Teammates David Green (13 points, 11 rebounds), Clinton Young and John McLean also excelled. Young had 12 points, six assists and four steals. McLean had 13 points, four steals and four assists.

Centennial coach Jim Hill described Poly as "very good."

"They were more athletic than us, bigger inside, quicker outside," he said. "They outclassed us. I'm surprised they aren't

ranked because they're better than any team we

have in Howard County."

Centennial, which has held opponents to fewer than 60 points per game this season, had problems defensing Poly.

"When we stacked inside, they hit their threes, and when we guarded them outside, they threw passes over our heads," Hill said.

Seann Jones led Centennial with 18 points, and Ron Haye was effective inside at times and scored 13.

Poly went 12 deep without showing much drop in talent. That depth wore down Centennial.

"We like to play an up-tempo style and did that pretty well today," Poly coach Bucky Kimmett said. "We rebounded better than we have been, but we didn't shoot as well as we are capable."

Poly made seven of 18 shots in the second quarter and seven of 20 in the third quarter and scored a lot of baskets off rebounds.

The Engineers made five of 16 three-point attempts.

Poly's pressure created turnovers -- 10 in the second quarter and seven in the third quarter.

"We expected the team we played in the first round not to be as strong, but they played their hearts out," Scott said. "The better team just won out. I think we can take it all the way down the road to College Park, but we're not looking past Mount Hebron right now."

Scott isn't worried about having to play on the road tomorrow.

.` "We play better on the road be

cause there are usually more fans," said Scott. "And we play better under pressure."

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