Allderdice girls top Obama Academy to claim City League championship

Sunday, February 18, 2024 | 2:40 PM

Allderdice guard Bailey White was worried things may be going south Sunday afternoon. The Dragons’ were ice cold in the first quarter of the City League girls basketball championship game against Obama Academy at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse.

White missed her first four shots, while Allderdice missed 14 of its first 16. There was a brief feeling of deja vu for White dating back to last season’s 46-point loss to the Eagles in the title game.

“I was hoping we wouldn’t have as many turnovers as we did at the beginning of the game,” White said. “I was hoping our offense would get better.”

Once Allderdice’s offense got hot, there was little Obama could to do stop them. White’s shooting sparked a 10-0 second-quarter run that helped carry Allderdice to a 62-39 win.

Once White’s shots started going in, it was the start of a vicious barrage. White finished with 34 points, including making 7 of 10 3-point attempts.

“It was a rough start, Bailey had a couple of early fouls and had to sit on the bench for a little bit,” Allderdice coach Ellen Guillard said. “Our offensive flow wasn’t really flowing. We were missing a lot of layups. It was nice she could regroup and give it her best effort going down the stretch.”

Thanks to the Dragons’ struggles on offense, Obama Academy (12-9) opened the game with a 9-2 run. Ahmaya Rogers capped the opening surge with a jumper late in the first quarter. Obama Academy still held a 17-8 lead midway through the second quarter when the game changed.

White made a 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 54 seconds left before halftime that kicked off a 10-0 run. White, who was named MVP, capped off the charge with another 3-pointer that gave Allderdice its first lead, 18-17. Allderdice is built to push the pace.

“We do a lot of conditioning and running at practice,” White said. “That also helps with running up and down the court.”

The Dragons (14-9) also employed a box-and-one defense to slow down Obama Academy’s top scorer, Taylor Phillips. Obama Academy shot 28.6% from the field and finished with 33 turnovers.

Phillips was limited to 11 points. Gi’Onna Simmons led the Eagles with 17 points.

Eagles coach Monique McCoy said that Obama Academy struggled to handle the box-and-one. This wasn’t a defensive look the Eagles saw much all season.

“Actually, Wednesday night was the first time we saw a box-and-one on Taylor,” McCoy said. “Taylor never saw the box-and-one last year or the season before that. It was just the past two games. We didn’t execute the play we had to free her up or free other persons up.”

Peyton Lynch also scored in double figures for Allderdice, making two 3-pointers and finishing with 14 points. Following a 75-29 loss in the championship game last season, everyone in the Dragons program was able to enjoy climbing back on top of the City League.

“We were able to get our look back,” Guillard said. “They had a chip on their shoulder and were ready to get after it and play as we could as a team.”

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