It started as a friendly competition featuring the top senior girls’ basketball players in Prince George’s County. Then in the second half, a game broke out.
After taking a 15-point lead in Friday’s Prince George’s Coaches 38th annual All-Star Game, the North All-Stars held off the South’s late surge to win, 59-48, at Prince George’s Community College in Kettering.
“It was great to put on a uniform one more time, just to be out there and play the game that I love,” said Parkdale’s Kareema Conteh, who scored a game-high 16 points to lead the North.
The North girls, coached by Parkdale’s Lawrence Watson, took a 31-23 into intermission behind 10 first-half points from Conteh, the county’s leading scorer.
The intensity picked up in the second half as the South girls, coached by Gwynn Park’s Michael Strother, used a balanced attack to get back in the game and nearly overcome a 15-point deficit. But the North, with its lead down to 45-44, regained control and ended the game on a 14-4 run.
Conteh, who is considering an offer to play at George Washington University, converted an and-one field goal late in the game to give her team a 54-46 lead.
“We just played together as a team,” Conteh said. “We just pulled together as a team toward the end.”
Laurel’s Megan Brown scored 11 points and hit two late second-half field goals to help the North put the game away.
Gwynn Park’s Tashina Cardwell led the South in scoring with 11 points, including nine in the first half. Crossland’s trio of Janee Harris (7), Uniqek Miller (6) and Alexis Welch (2) combined for 15 points, helping key the South’s second-half comeback.
Mecca Williams, Central’s leading scorer, converted acrobatic baseline layup in the second half and finished with five points.
“It was fun, playing against people I’ve played against this season, people that have nice skills,” said Williams, who transferred to Central from Meade Senior High School.
Bowie’s Serena Brown scored seven points in the final minutes and nine on the game to stave off the South comeback.
“I felt like they got a little closer, we had to separate it, we had to make a statement,” Serena said.
The victory was bittersweet, Brown said.
“It’s a little heartbreaking,” said Brown, who is set to play basketball at Catawba College in North Carolina next fall. “I love [Prince George’s] County. I’m just happy I did so well and I was able to play in this.”
North 59, South 48
North 31 28 — 59
South 23 25 — 48
North: Kareema Conteh 16, Megan Brown 11, Serena Brown 9, Amarachi Ekekwe 5, Alexis Newbold 5, Mecca William 5, Marshauna Butler 3, Samantha Spencer 3, Lisa Jing 2.
South: Tashina Cardwell 11, Janee Harris 7, Takayla Ellis 6, Uniqek Miller 6, Ashanti Freeland 4, Tierra Hawkins 4, Mache Turner 4, Myia Fletcher 3, Alexis Welch 2, Brandi Harrison 1