After a lackadaisical practice on Monday, Edmondson coach James James was worried going into yesterday's Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference semifinal game against City.
But now, his only worry may be if the No. 8 Redskins can come close to duplicating yesterday's performance in the Metro Classic.
The Redskins routed the visiting and No. 14 Black Knights, 111-78, to advance to the MSA B championship game. They will play two-time defending champion and No. 9 Carver Sunday at 1 p.m., in the opening game of the Metro Classic at the Baltimore Arena.
The Redskins (14-4) lost to Carver, 67-53, in the final last season. On Feb. 7, Edmondson avenged that defeat with a 63-56 victory at home.
In January, the Redskins defeated City, 76-68, but yesterday was a different story, building leads of 18 at halftime and 26 after three periods.
"The guys would not be denied," said James. "They were telling me all week not to worry about it, and sometimes that bothers me, but they made a believer out of me."
Maurice Blanding led five double-digit scorers for Edmondson with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Devin Ross added 24, Eddie Rivers had 18, and Randolph Edison scored 16.
Ross, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, called a team meeting shortly before yesterday's contest to rally the Redskins after Monday's uninspired practice.
"We got together before the game and had a little talk, and we came out and we played hard," said Ross. "We didn't expect a performance like this. A lot of people got pumped and got hot early."
Samuel Johnson led City (14-6) with 19 points and eight rebounds, and Bryant Waller added 10 and three rebounds.
In the first meeting, the Black Knights played man-to-man against Edmondson. But even with a mix of a zone, they was unable to stop the Redskins' full-court assault.
The Redskins were hot early, hitting 13 of 25 attempts from the field, to lead 31-22 after the first period. Leading, 37-30, they outscored City, 16-5, to carry a 53-35 advantage into halftime.
With Ross constantly hitting from the perimeter, it opened up the paint where Blanding was in control of the boards, scoring 18 and pulling down eight rebounds in the half.