Seton Keough High and Digital Harbor’s girls’ basketball teams spent most of their match Saturday evening trying to get a consistent pace as the referees blowing their whistle was the only constant.

The No. 2 Gators were able to find enough of a rhythm in the second half to pull away from the fourth-ranked Rams, 63-54, at the 5th annual Breezy Bishop Showcase at Poly-Western. Aaliyah Wilson led Seton Keough (3-2 overall) with 12 points with the senior trio of Achiri Ade, Liz Brown and Amber Singletary each adding 10.

Sophomore A’lexus Harrison had a game-high 23 points for the Rams (2-1), and freshman guard Deja Carroll added 13. Senior guard Ke’Shara Floyd scored all 11 of her points in the second half.

The west Baltimore private school converted 12 of 15 free throws in the final quarter in addition to some key bench contributions to win the season’s first battle of Top 5 powers. Gators coach Jackie Boswell said it’s the biggest win so far this season.

“This is our first quality win this year, we were really tested against a great athletic team,” said Boswell, whose team converted 25 of 32 free throws. “A lot of kids had to play a lot of tough minutes.”

“I think the girls coming off the bench know what we [starters] expect out of them,” said Brown, who had seven rebounds behind Ade’s nine. “Every day in practice, we push them. I think they’ve done a great job, keeping the tempo where it is.”

Brown, a 6-foot-4 center headed to the University of Richmond, pushed the Gators out to a 44-40 lead after three periods, scoring six of her team’s final eight in the quarter. But less than a minute into the fourth, Brown’s night ended with her fifth foul.

The Gators had a 47-40 advantage at that point, thanks to senior reserve Miracle Davis’ three-point play. Camille Hines (five rebounds) and Karli Zeps each came up with a defensive charge and Zeps had a steal, leading to two free throws by Wilson, a promising sophomore point guard.

“It was a lot of pressure on us,” said Ade, who played with four fouls in the final quarter. “They had a lot of momentum and we just had to play hard. Today, our chemistry was the difference.”

The IAAM A Conference stronghold led by as many 10 points in the opening half before settling for a 28-21 halftime lead, but Digital Harbor was the aggressor to start the second half. Harrison, who has given a verbal commitment to the University of Maryland, and Floyd combined for 10 points, giving the Baltimore City power a 31-30 advantage.

The duo combined for transition score with Floyd finishing off a Harrison pass, tying the game at 36, midway in the third quarter. The Gators responded with Brown inside off a feed from Rianna Frazier. Moments later, Brown came up with a block, and got position on the offensive end to take another a Frazier pass from an easy score.

Wilson followed with a layup for a 42-36 lead, and Seton Keough never trailed again. Digital Harbor pulled to within 53-48 in the fourth quarter, but back-to-back turnovers led to four Gator free throws.

Rams coach Patrick McDonald felt his team was ready for its first challenge of the young season. In the end, Seton Keough was able to make the crucial plays.

“We didn’t make the free throws we needed to make. That’s one of those little things-free throws and boxing out,” said McDonald, whose team shot 21-of-32 from the charity stripe. “We out-rebounded them but they got critical rebounds at the right time.”

The Rams travel to Northwestern Tuesday, then head to Prince George’s County for a non-league matchup with perennial Class 3A state power Largo. Seton Keough returns to IAAM A play Wednesday at Roland Park Country before venturing to Severn for a showdown with top-ranked Archbishop Spalding Friday night.

After grinding out victory Saturday, Boswell thinks her team is ready as its’ schedule gets tougher.

“We really controlled the game knowing we could not turn over the ball or play defense very long,” said Boswell. “We showed a lot of mental toughness as well as patience.”