City foiled by poor start

City's girls basketball team sure knows how to get back into a game. Now if the Knights could just get off to a quicker start.

The Knights rallied from 14 points down to tie Riverdale Baptist late in yesterday's game at the 11th annual Basketball Academy, but they could not manage to pull ahead. The Crusaders held on for a 38-35 victory at Morgan State's Hill Field House.


Victoria Mitchell hit a driving layup off a steal with 4:53 left to tie the game at 32, but the Crusaders converted two City turnovers to lead 36-32 after two Brianna Taylor free throws with 2:36 left.

The Knights (8-4) pulled within one with 2:01 left and had plenty of rebounding down the stretch from 6-foot Mitchell and 5-foot-10 Kayla Dillard, but City could not convert any of its last five shots.


Despite some rushed plays and some mistakes due to inexperience with no juniors or seniors on the floor in the final minutes, the Knights didn't look to the end of the game as the problem. They looked to the beginning.

"We have to start hard and finish hard," said Kia Baker, the Knights' only senior. "We have to give it our all from the beginning to the end, all the way through."

Yesterday, the Knights (8-4) hit only three of their first 23 shots and fell behind 25-11 early in the second half.

After coach George Petrides called a timeout, the Knights responded with an 11-point run, matching their first-half output in just three minutes. Guards LaShay Taft and Breaira Barksdale led the defensive effort that sparked the comeback as well as combining for 21 points. Dillard added seven points.

In yesterday's other game, young Milford Mill proved no match for taller, deeper, more experienced Western as the No. 8 Doves rolled to a 62-34 victory.

Nine Doves scored, led by Mischa Minor with 15 and Akeema Richards with 12.

The Millers (9-4), who used their quickness to upset No. 13 Southside Thursday, could not do the same against the Doves, who had a several-inch height advantage at most positions. The Doves (9-4) out-rebounded Milford Mill, 61-30, with 6-foot-1 Taqwisha Richardson grabbing 14.

The game was called with 1:38 left after Millers junior forward Mariah Gordon suffered a knee Injury, and the delay lasted about 10 minutes.


Millers coach DeToiya McAliley said Gordon may have torn an anterior cruciate ligament. That injury came after stellar sophomore guard Devonne Richardson left the game with a sprained right ankle.