City Champions!

Sean Gaines, Aaron Ntoko (Freshmen), Hirai Shuda (Sophomore)

Credit: Lucy Scaly/Post-Gazette

Lots of things were new about this year’s City League girls basketball championship game: the venue, the players, the size of the crowd. But one key thing stayed the same: Obama won. 

And this win was sure. After the first half, Obama was up 36-20, but proceeded to run away against Allderdice to finish the game up almost 50 points at 75-29. Taylor Phillips and Nyasia Benton both put up 22 points. To add to this already fantastic statline, Kimaya Williams had a double-double, with 12 points and 20 rebounds.

The team doubled nearly every Allderdice stat, with 41% field goals; 43% 3-pointers; and 49 rebounds, to 26% field goals; 22% 3-pointers; and 24 rebounds for Allderdice. This is their sixth City League championship win.

Equally striking was the decisive height advantage on the court. Allderdice’s top scorer during the game stands at just 5-foot 2-inches, small compared to the 5-foot 10-inches Williams.

The City League victory comes towards the end of a satisfactory season. The Obama team went undefeated in division play, and hopes to continue this run during PIAA playoff rounds.

“It was a great game. The girls played with energy for all four quarters and they were focused. Their hard work showed on the court,” said Capital University Freshman Samaree Perkins, who led the Obama team to their fifth championship last year and made the trek back to watch them play again.

Obama also won another City League championship last weekend in wrestling. 

While underappreciated, wrestling is hard. Navigating the 13 weight classes while maintaining technical skill has led some to call it the toughest high school sport. There is no denying the adrenaline you feel when you finally pin an opponent. 

The Obama wrestling team has existed for 14 years and, led by captains Khalil Collins, Dante Duncan, and Marcos Gonzalez, finally won its first city championship last week. The team defeated Allderdice, Carrick, Brashear, Perry, and Westinghouse Academy in the PIAA District 8 AAA tournament. 

10 out of the 13 Obama wrestlers advanced in the finals, and 4 of the wrestlers earned the first place medal: Mi’ere Green (114), Issac Werner (121), Dante Duncan (160), and Nahayo Clavel (285). 

5 of the wrestlers earned the silver medal: Cameron Suzensky (127), Khalil Collins (132), Christian Hawkens (145), Marcos Gonzalez (152), and Bryon Clark (215). Shawn Scott (189) placed 3rd. 

Next, the wrestlers who placed in the District 8 tournament will head to Altoona for the AAA Northwestern regional tournament. No matter what happens, nobody will forget this historic season for Obama wrestling.

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