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High School sports

No. 4 City boys basketball starts fast, closes out No. 10 Edmondson, 78-73, to stay undefeated

City boys basketball got the expected push from visiting Edmondson and even more in Baltimore City play on Thursday.

For the undefeated No. 4 Knights, who described it as their first significant gritty test, it was an opportunity to see where they stood with the season past the midway point. They showed themselves well.

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Behind a hot-shooting first half, City got double-digit points from all five starters in claiming a sturdy 78-73 win over the No. 10 Red Storm.

The Knights, who got a game-high 23 points from Kwon Johnson and 20 from Camerin Horton, improved to 14-0. Edmondson, which got 20 points, including six 3-pointers, from Kyrie Sherrod, is now 10-4.

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“I told the guys before the game, find a way to weather the storm because Edmondson is coming to play,” City coach Omarr Smith said. “They were physical, gritty and we haven’t had this type of game yet, so I knew it was going to be this type of game and I just wanted to come on the top side of it.”

City boys basketball players Camerin Horton, left, and Kwon Johnson pose for a photo after a victory over Edmondson on Jan. 19, 2023.

The Knights had an incredible first-half performance that featured seven 3-pointers, but could only muster a 42-38 halftime lead with the Red Storm always there to answer.

The home team again came out faster in the second half, and when Johnson scored inside, City had its first double-digit lead at 55-45 with 2:37 to play in the third quarter.

Behind Sherrod’s consecutive 3-pointers, the Red Storm closed the gap to 57-53 late in the third quarter, setting up a tense fourth.

On three possessions in the final 3:19 of play, the Red Storm had the lead down to three, but the Knights answered the call. With City leading 74-71, Trent Egbiremolen (10 points) missed on a short jumper, but he followed the Red Storm rebound and alertly stole the ball back underneath before feeding Johnson for an easy two points to make it 76-71 with 58 seconds left.

That huge play represented the effort needed to close out the win.

“Man, this was a gutsy win, a real gutsy win,” Horton said. “We really haven’t played this type of caliber team, guys that were a lot bigger than us, so we just really wanted come out and play hard from the start. We knew it was going to be a game of ups and downs. So we just wanted to stay [poised] and do what we got to do — loose balls, hustle plays, rebounds, run the break. And [if we] did our best — if we did that — we would come out victorious.”

For City, Danny Parsons finished with 14 points and Kyree Smith had 11.

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In addition to Sherrod’s big game from the perimeter, the Red Storm got a fine all-around performance from point guard Darnell Dantzler Jr., who scored 19 points.

With a starting five of three juniors and two sophomores, Edmondson coach Darnell Dantzler Sr. saw more positive strides despite the setback.

“We’re young and they’re growing on the job,” he said. “They came in and played well and what I like about it was, for every big shot that City hit, we came back and didn’t get down on each other and kept playing. That’s maturity and that’s them growing up. We knew we were coming to a hostile environment, playing City — they’re undefeated — so I’m disappointed that we lost, but the kids played as hard as they could play.”

Both teams return to action at the 25th annual Baltimore City Public Schools Basketball Academy, set to be held at Dunbar this year. Edmondson takes on Woodlawn at 6 p.m. Friday with City going up against Archbishop Curley at 3 p.m. Saturday.

E — Brown 3, Dantzler, Jr. 19, Jackson 15, Sherrod 20, Davis 8, Green 8. Totals: 29 8-13 73

C — C. Horton 20, Egbiremolen 10, Smith 11, Johnson 23, Parsons 14. Totals: 28 11-17 78

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Half: C, 42-38


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