Obama Academy gets past Allderdice, wins 5th City League championship

Sunday, February 20, 2022 | 8:23 PM

In just 11 seasons, Obama Academy has established itself as a City League power in girls basketball. The Eagles on Sunday won their fifth City crown since the school opened for the 2011-12 school year with a 58-40 victory over Allderdice.

But Obama won’t have much time to celebrate at Petersen Events Center.

The Eagles (14-5) have to play in a PIAA Class 5A preliminary round game Monday night against Central Mountain (District 6).

But it won’t stop the team from savoring the title-game win.

“Listen, we celebrate today and get some rest tonight and get back at it,” Obama coach Monique McCoy said. “I have to commend these young ladies. It’s been so crazy due to covid and everything. They’ve been so resilient and able to bounce back through everything like schedule changes. They’ve remained so composed and grounded.”

After the Dragons (11-7) cut a double-digit lead to four points during the third period, Obama staged a strong fourth quarter to secure the victory.

The Eagles took a 29-16 lead early in the second half, only to see the Dragons charge back and cut the lead to 33-29 on a basket by Piper Reck.

But Taylor Philips responded with a 3-pointer, and Obama Academy was on its way.

The Eagles were just 7 of 20 from the foul line over the first three quarters, but found the range in the fourth quarter, hitting 10 of 11 free throws.

“It’s annoying,” McCoy said with a laugh about her team’s free throw deficiency until late. “Again, they’re human first and you can’t take the human error out of anything. They cannot dwell and we as coaches cannot dwell. You have to keep on moving forward and try to make every possession. It might have been jitters.”

Rickie Johnson said: “We just had to stay focused to turn that around at the foul line.”

It was another solid outing for Samaree Perkins with 19 points and 15 rebounds

“I just knew all week we talked about being consistent,” Perkins said. “You might be on a bigger stage today, but it’s still basketball and we’ve got to put in the hoop. I knew my team needed me on the boards and knew if I was able to avail myself in the same capacity I did in the previous games, we would prevail on top.”

Perkins went over the 1,000-career point mark in the semifinal game against Brashear.

Allderdice was seeking its 15th City title, but its season isn’t over. The Dragons will enter a state play-in against a team from either District 6 or District 10.

Allderdice was led by Reck’s 17 points and eight rebounds. She scored 11 during the second half as the Dragons tried to come back.

Zaniya Murray had another outstanding game, scoring 15 – 11 in the second half. She fouled out with 1 minute, 7 seconds left in the game.

It was the sixth time in nine seasons that the two teams met in the title game.

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