Taft plays healthy role in Knights' rout

March 06, 2009|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Baltimore Sun

City guard LaShay Taft accidentally collided with a Poly player's elbow 30 seconds into last March's regional final, knocking out one tooth and pushing back another. The injury sidelined her for the rest of the game, which the Knights lost, and missing that contest upset her terribly.

But Taft exorcised some demons in last night's Class 2A North regional semifinal. She hit four three-pointers in the first quarter and scored 18 of her game-high 27 points in the first half as No. 4 City rolled to a 78-38 victory over visiting Poly.

"I wanted this so bad," Taft said. "I just wanted to win. That was such a bad feeling [last year]. This is much better."

Taft hopes the good feelings continue in tomorrow's 1 p.m. regional final, when City (22-3) hosts Randallstown, which defeated Eastern Tech, 51-34. She felt good from the start in this game, using her high-arcing shot to hit four three-pointers in the first quarter as the Knights took an 18-5 lead.

Taft outscored Poly (15-7) in the first half with her 18 points as City took a 34-13 lead at the break. She made five three-pointers in the game and all eight of her free throws.

"When she gets in a zone, she's capable of doing that," City coach George Petrides said. "She's a heck of a player."

Breaira Barksdale helped the Knights with 18 points, and Akilah Sewell added 11.

Poly made only two first-half baskets and just 10 overall.

The Engineers committed 27 turnovers. Cynthia Johnson led Poly with 10 points.

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