Allderdice boys slam Obama Academy for City League championship

Sunday, February 19, 2023 | 4:44 PM

Major Rainey’s dunk that put an exclamation point on Allderdice’s City League boys basketball championship victory Sunday fit the game’s flow perfectly.

Rainey’s alley-oop slam off a pass from Ethan Anish came a possession after a Rainey dunk attempt went rattling off the back iron and back to center court.

The Dragons weren’t perfect, but they never got rattled as they beat Obama Academy, 66-42, at UPMC Cooper Field House to win their third straight City title.

Allderdice senior Sam Kelly, who finished with 15 points and six rebounds, enjoyed seeing Rainey’s slam.

“Either he’s going to get a dunk or I’m going to get a dunk,” Kelly said. “One of the Allderdice Dragons is going to dunk the basketball.”

Allderdice (21-3) hopes to carry the momentum to a deep PIAA run in Class 6A. The Dragons needed to take care of business in their backyard first.

Allderdice struggled to gain control early due to foul trouble. That allowed the Eagles (10-10) to get to the free-throw line 10 times in the first quarter, but Obama Academy only converted five of those opportunities. Eagles coach Naron Jackson said Allderdice’s defense gave Obama an edge early on.

“I think at the beginning of the game, it helped us,” Jackson said. “That they were putting pressure high on the guards. It left dribble-drive lanes that we took advantage of, and we got into the bonus early in the first quarter.”

Logan Golle, who scored a team-high 16 points, put Allderdice ahead for good, 12-10, with 2 minutes, 6 seconds left in the first quarter.

Allderdice coach Devin Crummie said the Dragons wanted to play physical and set the tempo.

“We knew we needed to be aggressive,” Crummie said. “Obama is an aggressive team. They have a great pressure defense and are strong under the boards. We knew we may give up some fouling to get tempo where we wanted it, which was more full court.”

When the second quarter opened, both teams dug in defensively. Neither team scored in the second quarter until Golle made a layup with 5:23 left before halftime.

“We had to move the ball more,” Golle said. “We were taking too many quick shots. We were playing great defense. That’s why nobody was scoring. We weren’t moving the ball. We were taking quick shots that weren’t good.”

Obama did make a few runs. Torrien Perkins, who shot 4-of-5 from the 3-point line, led the Eagles with 18 points and knocked down a 3 to cut the lead to 29-26 shortly before halftime.

Allderdice quickly recovered by scoring five straight to take a 34-26 lead.

Early in the third quarter, the Dragons salted the game away with a 12-0 run to stretch their lead to 46-31.

Ethan Anish led Allderdice with 16 points.

Xavier Rodgers also finished with 15 points for the Eagles.

Kelly said the Dragons are hoping to learn from this experience heading into states.

“I think we are still aspiring for a little bit more,” Kelly said. “This is definitely something we were looking forward to, and it felt great.”

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