UPPER MARLBORO – Junior Synia Johnson scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Riverdale Baptist School’s girls basketball team past National Christian Academy, 70-56, on Jan. 31.
The junior, who has been averaging 7.1 points-per-game, was the shining light during an off-shooting night for the Lady Crusaders (20-4). Johnson finished the game going 6-for-10 in field goals and connecting 11 of her 14 free throws, helping lead the Lady Crusaders to a bounce back win after losing their first home game of the season on Jan. 26 against Long Island Lutheran (70-56).
Both teams struggled early on, combining for 21 total points in the first quarter. National Christian’s (16-6) tight defense limited Riverdale’s impact early as the home side did not convert a 3-pointer all game.
Senior Anissa Rivera led the way for the Eagles with a double-double performance of 12 points and 10 rebounds. The six-foot-two North Carolina Central University commit’s play kept the game close as the Eagles entered halftime with a two-point deficit.
Riverdale woke up in the third quarter, outscoring the visitors, 44-28, the whole second half. Junior Kaylah Ivey scored 17 points for the Lady Crusaders, a huge comeback game after only scoring a single point in the Long Island Lutheran game.
Despite problems behind the arc, Riverdale finished converting 46-of-48 of their 2-point field goal attempts as they pulled away with the victory. Senior Rayne Tucker added seven points and two blocks for the home team.
Senior Sonia Smith led all Eagles scorers with 14 points in the losing effort. The Fort Washington-based team will look to regroup by taking advantage of four-straight home games, starting on Feb. 8 with Life Center Academy. They will host the Lady Crusaders at the end of their four-game homestand on Feb. 13.
With the win, Riverdale remains unbeaten against local teams (5-0). After playing a mostly road schedule, the Lady Crusaders will be home for three of their next four games, beginning with their Feb. 5 match-up against Rock Creek Christian.
The Lady Crusaders will host two PGCPS sides as well with Oxon Hill and Dr. Henry A. Wise traveling to play in Upper Marlboro on Feb. 7 and 11, respectively.