City League Championships: Surprising final set after upsets
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Since Obama Academy sprinted through the City League regular season with a 9-1 record, most expected the Eagles would do the same in the postseason en route to their first title.
But after Obama was upset in the semifinals, the City League now has an unexpected final.
Perry will play Westinghouse for the championship at 11 a.m. Saturday at Obama Academy.
Westinghouse is in the title game for the first time since winning it in 1998. The third-seeded Bulldogs (14-8) advanced to the semifinals two of the past three seasons only to fall short of reaching the championship. Fourth seed Perry (12-12) lost five of its final six regular-season games, but has rebounded to advance to its first final since 2011. The Commodores won the championship in 2009.
"Even though Obama dominated the regular season, there was a lot of parity in the league," Perry coach Marco Corona said. "It's a surprise [these teams are playing for the championship], but not a shock."
Perry has played the role of spoiler. After defeating three-time defending champion Allderdice in the quarterfinals, Perry knocked off Obama, 80-79, in overtime in the semifinals. Obama was 9-1 in regular-season league play and beat Perry by 23 and seven points in the regular season. For Perry, the third time was a charm. Junior guard Devin Lyles scored 19 points, including the tying and winning free throws with eight seconds left in overtime.
Senior guard Shakeem Cox leads the Commodores in scoring with 17.1 points per game. Lyles averages 14.5.
Westinghouse defeated Brashear, 68-47, in the semifinals. The win avenged two regular-season losses to the Bulls. Senior guard Robert Bailey led Westinghouse with 30 points and is averaging a team-high 20.2 per game. Westinghouse is 12-4 in its past 16 games, with three of the defeats coming by four points or less.
"I think they have one of the best players in the league in Bailey," Corona said. "He's a strong player and plays like a man. He has great control of his body and jumps wells. And he is surrounded by a cast of role players who complement each other well."
Westinghouse and Perry split two regular-season meetings, with each team gaining narrow decisions on its home court.
For the 19th year in a row, Westinghouse is in the championship game. It marks the third consecutive year the Bulldogs (15-9) will square off against Allderdice (12-12) in the final, with the Dragons winning the previous two times. Tipoff is 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Obama Academy.
In the semifinals, Allderdice, the No. 4 seed, upset No. 1 Obama Academy, 57-55, while No. 3 Westinghouse routed No. 2 Carrick, 60-32.
Allderdice boasts the top offense in the City League (58.3 points per game). The Dragons are led by the potent duo of junior guard Sierra Fordham (21.5 ppg) and senior guard Sydnee Abernathy (19.4 ppg).
Westinghouse is the top defensive team in the City League (37.2 ppg). The Bulldogs are led by junior guard Jasmine Myers (16 ppg). Westinghouse beat Allderdice twice during the regular season.
• What: City League boys and girls basketball championships.
• Where: Obama Academy.
• Boys: Westinghouse vs. Perry, 11 a.m.
• Girls: Westinghouse vs. Allderdice, 12:30 p.m.
First Published February 22, 2013 12:00 am