April 27, 2018

Boys hoops: No. 10 Baltimore Poly hammers No. 2 Decatur 74-44 to reach Class 3A final

De'Vondre Perry throws down a dunk during Thursday afternoon's MPSSAA Class 3A state semifinal against Stephen Decatur. Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

COLLEGE PARK — De’Vondre Perry sat back on the red padded chair in the northwest corner Xfinity Center, pumping his fist in the air while a team trainer plopped bags of ice on his knees. Demetrius Mims kept the onslaught that Perry upstarted ablaze with a 3-pointer in the right corner to balloon No. 10 Baltimore Poly’s lead to 31 midway through the fourth quarter against one-loss No. 2 Stephen Decatur. 

Perry’s day was done, and received the well-deserved call to the bench after delivering the most resounding performance of his high school basketball career. The Temple commit exploded for 33 points on six 3’s, nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals to hammer Decatur 77-44 in the Class 3A state semifinals on Thursday afternoon. Poly will play Potomac in the title game at 3:00 p.m. 

Seth Jones talks with De’Vondre Perry on the Poly bench during Thursday’s contest with Stephen Decatur at the Xfinity Center. Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

“I’ve been told over and over again I don’t perform well on big stages and I won’t be ready for the big stage,” Perry said. “Just knowing I had a chip on my shoulder tonight proved everyone wrong.”

Jitters ruled the opening three minutes, and halfway through the first quarter it was locked at 4-4 with both teams combining for seven turnovers and a 4-for-14 start from the floor.

Perry triggered a 13-2 run that spanned into the second quarter with a pull-up 3 from the top of the key. Moments later, he threw down a fastbreak slam and hit another 3 on the right wing to give Poly (20-7) a 17-6 lead. 


Decatur’s Keve Aluma (19 points and 11 rebounds) scored the first four points of the second quarter to bring the Seahawks within striking distance, 17-10, but the Engineers responded with a 13-3 lead that featured a 3, fastbreak dunk and long jumper from Perry to pad their lead to 30-13. 

After another trey from Perry and buzzer-beating triple from Seth Jones, Poly carried a 36-15 lead into halftime. 

“These guys are great, just love their energy,” Poly coach Sam Brand said. “Our team chemistry is off the charts .”

Poly then opened up the third quarter on a 9-0 run fueled by a Perry three-point play and 3-ball to swell the lead to 44-15.

“He picked it up for us,” Mims (eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks) said of Perry’s play. “We followed his lead coming out. … He carried us tonight.”

Poly’s Demetrius Mims attempts to work through traffic during Thursday’s contest with Stephen Decatur. Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

Decatur brought it to 50-30 on a 7-1 run with a Aluma putback and layup in the closing minutes of the third quarter, but that’s closest they got down the stretch as Mims splashed a triple to make it 53-30 and minutes later, Perry connected on his sixth and final 3 to balloon it to 57-31.

Poly led by as many as 38 and shot 44 percent (26-for-55) while suffocating Decatur to 30 percent (16-for-53).

Photo by Austin McFadden/MSA.

“We knew that, not only were they 26-1, but only played in maybe two or three close games all year,” Brand said. “We would like to be 26-1. But when we set up our schedule, it wasn’t a desired record going into the state playoffs. We try to play the best teams we can.

“While we have a lot of respect for them, we had equal and even more respect for our preparation and the battles that we gone through to together to get here. Did I think that the score was going to be that way? No. Did I know it was a possibility? Yes. We know how good we are.”

Poly scored 27 of their 77 points off turnovers. Cleveland Horton added nine for Poly. Keyvon Voyles pitched in with eight points and six rebounds.

“We’re all looking forward to Saturday,” Perry said. “This is what we prepared for.”

A full gallery will be available in the upcoming days.

About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
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