City boys basketball coach Omarr Smith said he tried, unsuccessfully, to recruit Daniel Parsons. Four years later, Parsons is with the Knights, and Tuesday, helped them to their biggest victory of the season.
No. 4 City defeated fifth-ranked Lake Clifton, 64-47, in a Baltimore City league Division B contest in Northeast Baltimore. Parsons finished with 26 points for the Knights and Cam Horton added 17 points and five rebounds.
City overcame a sluggish start in the opening couple of minutes to construct and maintain a double-digit advantage for nearly the entire second half to clinch first place in Division B and a spot in next week’s city title game. The undefeated Knights (21-0, 7-0 Division B) will play No. 7 Edmondson, the Division A winner, Tuesday evening at 7 at Morgan State University.
City will take a short bus ride to Hill Field House Tuesday thanks to Parsons, who transferred to City from Mount Carmel.
“I just kept working over the summer…I needed this year,” said Parsons. “This is my senior year and one of the biggest.”
In the biggest match of the Baltimore City league season, Parsons, who played at Poly as a freshman, was arguably the difference Tuesday. The 6-foot-3 guard effectively attacked the basket or scored from the perimeter.
His jumper started an 11-0 first quarter run, giving the Knights a 17-8 advantage, a lead they didn’t relinquish. City had its largest lead of the half at 28-14 after back-to-back 3-point plays from Horton and Kyree Smith.
Lake Clifton (15-4, 6-1 Division B) got to 37-28 after Kris Mitchell’s basket with about five minutes left in the third quarter, but City immediately answered with Horton converting a backdoor layup, followed by a basket from Parsons. Horton got a friendly bounce on a 3-pointer, giving the Knights a 45-28 lead with 1:50 left in the third.
Mitchell’s rebound and basket brought Lake Clifton to 46-36 early in the fourth, only to see Horton drop another 3-pointer. A drive by Parsons, followed by his baseline jumper, left City firmly in command at 53-38 with 2:47 left in regulation.
“He’s given us a lot…we like to call him the X factor,” said Horton. “We know if he comes to play it makes the game so much easier.”
Omarr Smith said Parsons had the hot hand Tuesday.
“He (Parsons) has two pretty good games, I preach all the time that it could be any one of the starting five,” said Smith. “He (Parsons) gives us versatility, a little more speed…we can put anybody anywhere and it doesn’t stagnate us.”
Mitchell, a senior forward, finished with 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots for Lake Clifton . Outside of Mitchell, the Lakers weren’t able to produce a consistent offensive charge Tuesday as leading scorer Quentin Monroe had just two points.
“We didn’t have a very good offensive game today,” said Lake Clifton coach Herman Harried. “Give all the credit to City…they played well, they defended and scored. They got a bunch of people who can score.”
Last season, the Lakers defeated City, 57-55, to clinch a berth in the city final. Lake Clifton went on to win the city title.
Tuesday, City ended the Lakers’ reign, winning for the first time over Lake Clifton since 2018.
“We left that gym with a bitter taste in our mouths,” said Horton. “We call this season our revenge tour…For the seniors, this means a lot mentally.”
NO. 4 CITY 64, NO. 5 LAKE CLIFTON 47
Lake Clifton - Mitchell 22, Dorsey 11, Jones 6, Askins 4, Miles 2, Monroe 2. Totals 21 5-8 47.
City - Parsons 24, Horton 17, Egbiremolen 9, Smith 8, Johnson 6. Totals 23 11-14 64.
Lake Clifton 10 14 8 15 - 47
City 17 17 12 18 - 64