Ingram helps City bounce Poly, 51-31

Guard's 12 points in fourth, team defense put Knights 1 win closer to first crown

Class 2A North region girls basketball

March 04, 2004|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

All winter, City's girls basketball team has used a true team effort to build its best season ever. Any player can step up on any given night.

Last night, senior guard Alanna Ingram did most of the offensive damage while the rest of her teammates turned in a tight defensive effort to give No. 18 City a 51-31 victory over visiting Poly in a Class 2A North region semifinal.

The Baltimore City champion Knights (21-2) go after their first regional title tomorrow night when they play host to Lansdowne, a 55-49 winner against Overlea in last night's other semifinal.

Ingram scored 12 of her 21 points in the fourth quarter, including all 10 in a 10-4 run that boosted the Knights' lead to 16 with 3:29 to go. Through that stretch, Ingram hit a pair of three-pointers, an 18-footer and two free throws.

"She's a great shooter," said Knights point guard Madea Bailey. "We expect her to hit those three-point shots and she came through really well tonight."

Ingram also started a big second quarter for the Knights, who had fallen behind their fiercest rivals 10-7.

Bailey fed Ingram for the first basket in a 16-3 second-quarter run that gave the Knights a 23-13 lead. Ashley Branch, the Knights' 6-foot center, scored all six of her points in the quarter as the Knights attacked the basket inside.

The Engineers (14-7) cut into that lead only briefly, although they had it down to six midway through the third quarter.

Tulani Hawkins pulled the Engineers within 23-17 by converting a steal soon after the half. Two minutes later, Mia Wilson fed Erica Turnbull to cut the lead back to six with 4:14 to go, but Bailey stopped the momentum with a steal and two free throws. She then added a driving layup and an assist on Tenisha Smith's three-pointer to boost City's lead to 32-19 with 1:16 left in the third quarter.

The Engineers' biggest problem came at the free-throw line. Normally a good free-throw shooting team, they managed to hit just 5 of 22 last night.

"Never have we shot from the free-throw line quite that bad. "We've had outstanding games where that has pushed us over. Against Dunbar, I think it was 15 of 17 from the free-throw line," said Engineers coach Kendall Peace, who got nine points from Tamar Copes.

The Knights' man-to-man defense held 6-footers Turnbull and Brittany Christian to just eight points between them and forced 32 Poly turnovers.

"Their inside game concerned us," said City coach George Petrides. "We kept up the intensity defensively. We put pressure on their guards and fronted [Turnbull]."

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