Kamau Stokes started hot, scoring the game's first seven points. A little later, it was Omari George's turn to carry the City boys basketball team. And then John Grant got in on the act.
The No. 4 Knights put on an impressive display Saturday night against Coolidge in the Baltimore vs. Washington, D.C., basketball Challenge at Lake Clifton, and it only took the first half for City to exhibit dominance, coming away with an 85-65 win over the Colts.
George would take game-high honors with 28 points, Stokes finished with 20 and Grant had 17 as the Knights (2-0) held a 20-point halftime lead.
Coolidge, which captured last year's District of Columbia State Athletic Association Tournament title, never drew within double-digits of City after halftime.
"Coach [Daryl] Wade told us that we had to be really focused coming into the game, so we came together as a team and came out strong," said George, a senior guard. "When we come out and get that early lead like that, we can take our time with the rest of the game, play City basketball and get the easy win."
Stokes, a senior guard who transferred from Dunbar, had a basket, steal and lay-in, and then a 3-pointer to give the Knights a 7-0 lead just 1:10 into play. After Grant, a senior forward, hit a basket and then converted a three-point play, George scored the last 10 points in the first quarter for City as they built a 22-14 lead.
The Knights defended aggressively, pounded the boards and got a 10-point second quarter from Grant to take the 44-24 halftime lead.
Any thought the Colts had of getting back in the game in the second half was dismissed by City's responsible shooting at the free throw line, as the Knights, made 30-of-38 for the game — including six straight from Stokes midway through the fourth quarter.
The Knights also got a strong game at both ends from senior guard Timmy Bond, who finished with eight points.
More from the Baltimore vs. Washington, D.C., Challenge
No. 9 Poly 66, Ballou 28: The Engineers (2-0) dominated from start to finish, jumping out to a 32-2 lead after one quarter in the comfortable win. Senior guard John Crosby finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and Darius Kelly and Kenneth Irvin each scored 13 points to lead Poly.
Woodrow Wilson 67, No. 13 Dunbar 65: The Poets got 20 points from Keshawn Hampton, but it wasn't enough as their rally from an 11-point deficit fell just short.
No. 9 Edmondson 65, Roosevelt 61: Senior guard Sean Burke scored a game-high 25 points — including the game's last two baskets in the final 32 seconds of play — to lead the Red Storm to the win.
Roosevelt got a 3-pointer from Johnnie Shuler to tie the game at 61 with 43 seconds left before Burke took over. He finished off a strong drive with 32 seconds left and then — after the Red Storm missed five straight free throws — finally closed out the win with a lay-up with five seconds left off. Rashad Wattie and Robert McClain each finished with 10 points for the Red Storm.
Baltimore vs. Washington, D.C. Challenge
(at Lake Clifton)
4 City 85, Coolidge (D.C.) 65
Co – Routt 13, Farley 9, Rozier 4, Briggs 15, Gregory 18, Paige2, Wright 3, Dotson 1. Totals: 22 14-28 65.
Cit – Stokes 20, Jo. Grant 17, George 28, Bond 8, Ju. Grant 4, Davis 2, Williams 4. Totals: 27 30-38 85.
Half: Ci, 44-24Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun