Two late 3s lift Obama to City League girls title

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For the entire game, Obama Academy senior Alexis Bowens endured a "Floppy Bird" chant from the Allderdice student body at the City League girls basketball championship Friday night at Allderdice.

But when the game was on line, it was Bowens who took flight with two 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to help the Eagles secure a 49-40 victory against the Dragons and a berth in the PIAA Class AAAA playoffs.

Obama improved to 14-6 with the victory, while Allderdice finished 12-12.

The victory gave the Eagles the season series between the two teams. Obama defeated Allderdice 50-47, and the Dragons took the rematch, 64-52.

"I heard [the student body]," said Bowens, who finished with seven points. "It didn't get in my head. I enjoyed it."

Bowens hit her first 3-pointer to give the Eagles a 39-30 lead in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Her second midway through the final quarter gave the Eagles a 44-32 advantage.

"I told Alex before the game that she needed to step up," Obama coach Monique McCoy said. "I gave her the green light to shoot."

Bowens had the green light, but the Obama defense put up a huge stop sign on Allderdice's offense, particularly in the third quarter when the Dragons committed 10 turnovers. The Eagles ended the quarter on an 8-2 run to take a 36-30 lead.

"We focused on defense," McCoy said. "That was one of our main goals."

Allderdice coach Dave Walchesky liked where his team was as the score was tied, 19-19, at the half.

"I told our players I would have signed up for a tie score," he said. "But it surprised me that we had difficulty with their press. We'd prepared for it, and it wasn't the first time we'd seen it. But we made some costly turnovers and couldn't put the ball in the basket."

Sierra Fordham, who averaged 22.9 points per game, was the Dragons' leading scorer with 15 points. But she missed 6 of 8 field goals in the second half. Most of those attempts were layups that fell off the rim.

"We needed some layups late in the game," Walchesky said. "That hurts you when you play a team like Obama."

Kayla Payne had the hot hand with 3 3-pointers in the first quarter for the Eagles, and she led all scorers with 16 points. Junior guard Samone Rainey added 12.

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