Another collision of Poly and Howard, the area’s top two public squads, remains on course in the Class 3A state basketball tournament. Both squads advanced to the state semifinal round with victories Friday.

The third-ranked Engineers defeated Frederick County’s Oakdale, 59-42. Senior guard Da’Brya Clark and Taylor Addision each scored 13 points for Poly (24-2 overall).

The defending state champs opened up a 20-point second half margin, paving the way to the Northwest Baltimore school’s fifth consecutive state semifinal. Poly will play Prince George’s County’s Oxon Hill in a 3A semifinal Tuesday or Wednesday at a site to be determined.

“I’m grateful. I don’t take any moment for granted, whether I’m returning the same team because they’re not the same people from the year before,” said Engineers longtime coach Kendall Peace-Able, who captured her first crown on her 11th state Final Four trip last year. “There’s a lot of differences, but the goal of getting back is still the same.”

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Leading 30-19 at halftime, Poly pushed the advantage to 44-27 after three quarters. The Baltimore City champs gained their largest lead, 50-27, after a 3-pointer from Addison with 6 minutes, 15 seconds left in the game.

“We’ve worked hard on putting forth effort, taking it from practice into the game,” said Addison. “That’s been the heart of this program.”

Fifth-ranked Howard easily punched its third straight Final Four ticket with a 63-20 bashing of Towson in Ellicott City. Mount St. Mary’s University recruit Gabby Kennerly scored 26 points for the Lions (25-1 overall), and sophomore post Meghan Yarnevich added 19.

The Howard County champs sent the Generals reeling with a 24-2 advantage after the opening eight minutes. The Lions will play Charles County’s St. Charles in the other 3A semifinal, Tuesday or Wednesday at a site to be determined.

St. Charles eliminated River Hill, 51-48, in a 3A quarterfinal match Friday evening in Southern Maryland.

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Audri Adams finished with six points for Towson, which claimed its first region title (North Region I) since 1998.

Howard girls basketball Gabby Kennerly
Howard's Gabby Kennerly goes up for two against St. Charles at the All About the Girls Holiday Hoops tournament at Forest Park in December. The Lions will match up again with the Charles County school, this time in the Class 3A state semifinals, after Kennerly's 26 points led Howard to a big quarterfinal victory over Towson in Ellicott City Friday evening. (Jimmy Fields Sr.)

Derek Toney is content editor of Varsity Sports Network, a high school sports news network that became part of The Baltimore Banner in August 2022.

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