Allderdice beats Obama Academy to capture 4th City League boys basketball title

Sunday, February 18, 2024 | 4:38 PM

Allderdice’s fourth consecutive City League championship didn’t come easy.

The Dragons didn’t shoot well, and every possession was hotly contested. But in the final minute, Allderdice guard Logan Golle drew a charge, and the Dragons forced another turnover to escape with a 44-37 win over Obama Academy on Sunday afternoon at Duquesne’s UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.

“I know when my shots aren’t falling I have to do other things on the court,” said Golle, who scored 12 points and was 0 of 4 from the 3-point line. “Even though they weren’t falling, I had to keep playing.”

The Eagles (10-12) played Allderdice significantly better during this matchup than the first two meetings. Obama Academy lost the two regular-season meetings by 28 and 30 points, respectively.

Dragons coach Devin Crummie emphasized to his players that this game wouldn’t be like the first two meetings. Allderdice was playing without Major Rainey, who was lost for the season due to an injury in late January.

“If we blink and aren’t ready, they are going to steamroll us,” Crummie said. “It’s a huge rivalry. All the factors are going to make them a tough competition. Factor that in with them taking away all the things we like to do, and you have a game like that. To win in that fashion, I don’t want to to say it’s more rewarding, but it’s fitting for these guys and the way they grind all the time and work every day.”

Eagles coach Naron Jackson was pleased with the improved effort.

Obama Academy started the season 0-6 and has steadily improved throughout the season.

“We don’t get any points for close games,” Jackson said. “We came here to win a basketball game. We knew we could win a game, and it would come down to the end. We preached it all year long. We preached it from the first practice.”

Neither team had a shooting performance to write home about. The Dragons (20-4) shot 10% (2 of 20) from the 3-point line. Obama Academy shot 20% (2 of 10).

“I think there were certain guys who I said, ‘You are a cutter right now,” Crummie said. “Maybe get a paint touch and kick the ball back out. It’s hard to tell kids not to take an open 3 because it is such an important part of basketball.”

Allderdice went ahead for good, 36-33, on a 3-pointer by Paylle Slepcey with 6 minutes, 7 seconds remaining. Slepcey finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Keivan Harris led Obama Academy with 12 points. Torrien Perkins scored a layup with 2:41 remaining to cut the lead to 38-37. The Eagles got the ball back with a little over a minute remaining down by one.

Golle drew the charge on Perkins with 51 seconds remaining. Lukas Stead then scored a layup to stretch the lead to three points.

Allderdice (20-4) then forced another turnover and was able to score on a layup to lock up another championship.

“This means everything,” Slepcey said. “This is everything we worked for this entire year to get to here and this point. We did lose Major in the process, but the extra motivation went for him.”

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