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Obama Academy girls edge Allderdice for City championship

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By Justin Criado
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, 8:39 p.m.
 

Kayla Payne led all scorers with 16 points as Obama Academy captured the City League girls basketball championship with a 49-40 victory over Allderdice Friday night.

“It feels good,” Obama coach Monique McCoy said. “It feels real good.”

Tied at 19 at the break, the game remained deadlocked until late in the third quarter when the second-seeded Eagles (14-6, 9-2) used a 6-0 run to take a 34-28 lead, which they wouldn't relinquish.

Payne hit a long 3-pointer, and Obama's full-court press forced Allderdice into uncharacteristic turnovers, many before crossing half court.

“She's been hitting big 3s all year. She has been just a solid ball player for us all year,” McCoy said. “We applied our defensive pressure. We said that at halftime and that's what we did (in the second half).”

Developing a healthy rivalry over the past year, the two teams split the season series, the last being a 64-52 Allderdice victory in the final game of the regular season. The Dragons ended Obama's title hopes last year with a 57-55 win in the semifinals before finishing as runner-up to Westinghouse.

Allderdice coach Dave Walchesky said his team was better equipped to handle Obama's defensive pressure than what transpired during the game.

“The thing that frustrated me most was our difficulty handling the press (defense) tonight,” Walchesky said. “This one was tough.”

Samone Rainey added 10 points for Obama. Sierra Fordham had 15 points and Lyric Harper had 12 for Allderdice (12-12, 8-3).

With the win Obama earned a berth in the PIAA District 6-8 Class AAA playoffs, which will kick-off after the conclusion of the WPIAL playoffs.

— Justin Criado

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