After weeks of anticipation and “mixed emotions,” Archbishop Curley and City boys basketball teams played Saturday afternoon.
Once the ball was tipped, however, it was strictly business. The fourth-ranked Knights escaped with a 58-55 victory over the Friars to close the 25th Basketball Academy at Dunbar.
City senior forward Camerin Horton recorded 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Kwon Johnson added 16 points. Senior guard Kyree Smith contributed seven assists.
The Knights got a late-game putback from Horton, along with two free throws in the final 10 seconds, helping the Baltimore City school remain undefeated at 15-0.
The game featured Curley sophomore guard Omarr Smith Jr. playing against his father, City coach Omarr Smith Sr.
“Mixed emotions for me because I want to see him do well,” said Smith Sr. “Even though I’m against him, I want to see him perform well.”
Smith Jr., a 6-foot-3 guard, scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed four rebounds to lead the Friars (9-11).
“It was good because we came out with the win, and I would say it’s also good because he played well,” the older Smith said.
“It was definitely a special experience,” Smith Jr. said. “It was also hard because he knows me better than I know myself.”
It was the second straight tightly contested match for City, which outlasted No. 6 Edmondson, 78-73, at home Thursday evening.
The Knights led 34-27 at the half Saturday and 45-40 at the end of the third, behind Johnson, who was able to knock down 3-pointers over Curley’s 3-2 zone defense. The Friars were able to pull within one in the final two minutes, but City’s rebounding and defense closed it out.
Horton, a consistent force around the rim throughout Saturday, took on the challenge of guarding Smith Jr.
“He’s a dog,” Horton said of Smith Jr. “When we stepped on the court, we were talking trash to each other a little bit. It was going to be a game of runs, but that’s my guy at the end of the day. He came to play, and I gotta give it to him.”
In the opener Saturday, No. 5 and reigning Baltimore City champ Lake Clifton was unable to overcome a 17-point deficit against Prince George’s County’s Oxon Hill, which held on for a 64-57 decision.
Isaiah Payne finished with 23 points, six assists and four rebounds for Oxon Hill (13-2). Quentin Monroe led Lake Clifton with 21 points and Kris Mitchell netted 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Trailing 58-41, Lake Clifton (11-3) trimmed the score to 60-55 with 34.6 seconds remaining. After William Johns sank two free throws for Oxon Hill on the next possession, Monroe was called for an offensive foul that put the Clippers back on the free throw line with 30.7 seconds left.
Oxon Hill converted both attempts from the charity stripe for a three-possession lead. Johns and Cole Love each finished with 11 points.
Lakers coach Herman Harried credited Oxon Hill’s poise and ability to slow his team down.
“They (Oxon Hill) just made a lot of tough shots. We didn’t play bad today,” Harried said. “We played hard, we played solid, we didn’t turn the ball over. They just made a lot of tough shots and that was the difference in the game.”
OXON HILL 64, NO. 5 LAKE CLIFTON 57
Oxon Hill - Payne 23, Love 11, Johns 11, Henderson 9, Jackson 6, Cuyler 4. Totals 20 16-23 64.
Lake Clifton - Monroe 21, Mitchell 17, Jones 9, Askins 7, Dorsey 3. 19 17-25 57.
Oxon Hill 13 24 12 15 — 64
Lake Clifton 18 12 11 16 — 57
NO. 4 CITY 58, ARCHBISHOP CURLEY 55
Curley - Smith Jr. 26, Collins 13, Jermaine Koger 7, Jeremiah Koger 6, Kamren Hayes 3. Totals 20 7-10 55.
City - Horton 23, Johnson 16, Egbiremolen 11, Parsons 4, Alexander 2, Smith 2. Totals 21 10-12 58.
Curley 14 13 13 15 — 55
City 14 20 11 13 — 58