Foresters roll to another Baltimore City girls’ basketball crown; Henry and Johnson combine for 31 (VIDEO HERE!!)

by Donald Daniels

What’s new sort of remains old for Forest Park High.

The Foresters won the Baltimore City girls’ basketball Division II championship with a 56-11 rout of Southwestern at Morgan State University’s Hill Field House.

Three players scored in double figures for Forest Park with Nakiyah Johnson leading the way with a game-high 18 points and senior point guard Shania Gales had 10 points and seven assists. Niah Henry finished with 13.

The Foresters (14-4 overall) produced a running clock in the second half en route to a fourth straight league championship. Last season, Forest Park played as Northwestern as it Belle Avenue campus was renovated to accommodate the consolidation of the two northwest Baltimore schools.

“It just feels good,” said Gales. “Because a lot of people don’t get that experience. People are saying, ‘You’re playing a bad team,’ but they don’t realize we work hard to get where we’re at.”

Down after the opening basket, Forest Park went on a 30-2 run. The Foresters held Southwestern (9-8) scoreless for 14 minutes.

“I am very pleased with how our team played today,” Forest Park coach Jermaine Dunn said. “We are such a young team and they are working very hard and that really showed up today.”

Forest Park continued overwhelming the Sabres, who didn’t score in the second half. The Foresters induced a running clock with a 35-point lead late in the third quarter.

“We just knew that even though we had a big lead we couldn’t let up,” Johnson said. “Any team can beat anybody so you take anything for granted.”

Forest Park, which lost to eventual state champ New Town in the Class 2A North Region semifinals last season, will play in the North Region section semifinals Feb. 26. Two seasons ago, Forest Park reached the 1A state final four.

The Foresters are confident after another city title.

“This was a team effort,” Gales said. “My team, we came together and you’ve got to feel good about that.”

Baltimore City Division II girls’ basketball championship

At Morgan State University

Forest Park 56, Southwestern 11

Southwestern – Harrison 1, Crosby 2, Medley 4, Cox 4. Totals 5 1-3 11.

Forest Park: Webb 2, Henry 13, Banks 2, Gales 10, Johnson 18, Handy 3, Mickens 6. Levy 2. Totals 26 4-7 56.

Southwestern 4 7 0 0 – 11

Forest Park 14 20 12 10 – 56