Big finish lifts No. 2 Doves over No. 9 Comets

The Baltimore Sun

The No. 2 Western girls basketball team got off to a slow start yesterday against No. 9 Catonsville, but the Doves made up for it in the second half.

Using their superior quickness and depth, the Doves broke out of a tie game and finished it off with a 17-0 run for a 60-43 victory at the Basketball Academy at Morgan State's Hill Field House.

"We were just playing and working hard in order to get that run," said Doves senior Akeema Richards, who had 24 points and 11 rebounds. "We had a bunch of hustle plays, especially Mikee Stevenson and Iesha Bell. We worked hard as a team to get that win."

The Doves (7-6), who lost to the Comets last season at the Academy, trailed by nine points in the first half, but they chipped away in the third quarter, taking their first lead on Janay Newman's driving layup at the end.

Shelby Polk's fourth three-pointer of the game tied it at 43 with 6:49 to go, but the Comets (11-2) turned the ball over seven times after that and the Doves took advantage.

Bell hit two baskets - one on a terrific feed from Keirah Hicks - and Stevenson had three free throws during the run. The Comets were within six points with 1:48 to go, but Stevenson and Ashle Craig then hit seven of eight free throws to run the lead to 13.

Polk finished with 17 points for the Comets, and Shamika Williams added 14.

No. 8 Digital Harbor 51, Randallstown 42:: Digital Harbor (10-1) got 27 points from Asia Logan and hit its free throws down the stretch to finally get the better of its Baltimore County opponent at the Basketball Academy.

Logan, Tiana Mitchell and Ke'Shara Floyd combined for five free throws in the final 39 seconds.

Randallstown (6-7) stayed with Digital Harbor thanks in large part to 19 points from Kelsie Singleton, who brought her team within 46-42 with 49 seconds left. Once again, however, Randallstown struggled from the free-throw line, hitting just 11 of 22 for the game.

Riverdale Baptist 75, No. 3 City 36:: The Crusaders, 14-0 and ranked No. 13 by USA Today, started to break away with six straight points to end the second half at the Basketball Academy, but that was just the start of a 20-2 run that boosted their lead to 48-25 with 3:31 left in the third quarter.

The Knights (11-1) struggled in the backcourt, where three-point ace LaShay Taft did not hit a field goal and point guard Breaira Barksdale got into foul trouble early and finished with just eight points.

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