There was much to anticipate in the 8 p.m. game at the 12th annual Basketball Academy yesterday.
The prime-time start at Morgan State featured two top-five boys basketball teams in No. 2 St. Frances and No. 5 City. The Panthers have probably the best player in the metropolitan area, Maryland-bound guard Sean Mosley, and the Knights have one of the best underclassmen in sophomore swingman C.J. Fair.
The game didn't disappoint. Fair and Mosley did damage, but it was the Knights' defense that ended up giving them a 53-48 upset victory in a close game.
"My young guys are starting to grow up. They're not there yet, but they're starting," City coach Mike Daniel said. "It was a total team effort, a great effort."
The Knights (8-1) were down 29-23 at halftime, but their man-to-man defense allowed only 19 points in the second half.
In the fourth quarter, they allowed 10, but all those points were scored by Mosley.
"Our philosophy was there's no way in the world we can stop Sean Mosley, he's a great player," Daniel said. "So what we have to do is ... concentrate on the other players, and I thought we did a good job of doing it."
Neither team had a lead bigger than six in the second half. City didn't do itself any favors, going just 11-for-21 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. But, defensively, the Knights didn't allow St. Frances (13-6) to score in the last two minutes.
Mosley led all scorers with 25 points. Fair had a big game of his own, scoring 22.
Although Mosley won the scoring battle, Fair won the most important one. "[Mosley] played a good game," Fair said. "He just couldn't come out with the 'W.'"
It wasn't the only upset yesterday. In the first boys game of the day, unranked Parkville (6-4) stunned No. 6 Digital Harbor, 51-49.
"We came in here with our tails between our legs. We got beat up pretty bad [Wednesday against No. 4 Randallstown]," Parkville coach Troy Stevenson said. "Anytime you get a win like this against a really good team, you have to be happy."
Tom Cummings led Parkville with 17 points. The Knights' defense held starting Digital Harbor guards George and Justin Jackson to just 4-for-25 shooting.
Jermaine Edwards had a game-high 19 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks for Digital Harbor (7-3).
The 5 o'clock game was just as exciting. Douglass senior guard Omar Strong hit a three-pointer as time expired to help the Ducks (6-3) beat Largo of Prince George's County, 61-58.
Maurice Sutton led Largo with 20 points.
In the final game of the night, Dunbar (5-5) struggled mightily in the second half, falling to Riverdale Baptist of Prince George's County, 55-43.
The Poets led 26-21 at halftime but couldn't find rhythm in the second half. Dunbar was led by Sean Farr and Darrell Edwards, who each had 12 points.