City's Michael Cheatum shoots over Edmondson's… (Baltimore Sun photo by Colby…)
Opening the season with eight straight comfortable wins, the City boys basketball team hadn't gotten any practice shooting high-pressure free throws late in games.
It didn't show in Tuesday night's contest against visiting Edmondson.
In an evenly matched game among unbeaten teams, the No. 3 Knights were able to maintain a slight advantage with their fine aim at the free-throw line, making their last 10 tries in the final two-plus minutes to come away with a 71-68 win over the No. 6 Red Storm.
City, which got 22 points from sophomore Michael Cheatum to lead four players in double figures, improved to 9-0 this season. Edmondson fell to 10-1.
Leading 34-31 at the half, the Knights continually fended off the challenge by the Red Storm, which got 16 points from Kavon Pyatt.
After Pyatt hit two free throws with 43 seconds left in the fourth quarter, getting the Red Storm even at 65 for the first time in the second half, Nick Faust (16 points) made four straight free throws and Jordan Latham (20 points) made good on the last two to seal the win.
"We haven't had a whole lot of practice because we've been putting up some decent victories, but they showed they have the guts to keep it together," City coach Mike Daniel said of his players. "I was very proud of them. It was a great basketball game."
With 5:20 left in the first quarter, standout Edmondson senior forward Stanton Kidd was assessed his second foul, putting him on the bench for the remainder of the first half as he went on to finish with two points. The team's balanced scoring kept things close, with Jerry Lovelocke scoring 15 points and Sean Thomas adding 14.
When Faust hit a 3-pointer with 4:30 to play, the Knights had their biggest lead at 60-52. But the Red Storm answered with a 13-5 run - with Pyatt converting a 3-point play and the two free throws - to tie the score before the home team closed out the game with poise at the line.
E-Pyatt 16, Lovelocke 15, Thomas 14, Mobley 10, Ro. Pratcher 9, Kidd 2, Purdie 2. Totals: 24 17-22 68.
C-Latham 20, Cheatum 22, Anderson 2, Tapper 10, Faust 16, Amos 1. Totals: 19 31-43 71.
Half: C, 34-31.