No. 1 St. Frances undone by District’s top-ranked Riverdale Baptist’s late run; Reese scores 14

St. Frances girls basketball coach Jerome Shelton (kneeling) discusses strategy during Tuesday’s game with St. Vincent Pallotti. The top-ranked Panthers dropped their first game of the season to Prince George’s County’s Riverdale Baptist School Thursday evening in a battle of nationally-ranked squads in Glenarden.

After winning at No. 2 St. Vincent Pallotti in its second game of the season Tuesday, St. Frances Academy girls basketball had another tough assignment Thursday evening against nationally-ranked Riverdale Baptist School.

The Panthers held the lead for most of the contest, but Riverdale Baptist found its shooting touch in the fourth quarter to take a 57-53 victory at the DMV Super Games at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden Family Life Complex in Prince George’s County. University of Maryland-bound forward Angel Reese finished with 14 points for the Panthers (2-1 overall), ranked 14th in the latest USA Today Super 25 national rankings.

Kaylah Ivey scored 22 points of her game-high 24 points in the second half for Riverdale Baptist (5-0), the District area’s top-ranked team and USA Today’s No. 4 squad. Ivey’s 3-pointer gave the Prince George’s County’s squad a 51-50 lead with 2 minutes, 16 seconds left in regulation.

Ivey, a Boston College guard recruit, followed with another trifecta and Elizabeth Martino’s free throw, extending the Crusaders’ lead to 55-50 with 1:04 remaining. Aniya Gourdine pulled St. Frances to 55-52 with two free throws with 56.2 seconds left.

Ivey converted two of three free throws with 25.3 seconds remaining for a 57-52 lead. The Panthers got to 57-53 after Cori Barnes’ free throw, and had life after Riverdale Baptist lost the ball on the inbounds with 10.5 seconds left. St. Frances missed on a 3-pointer and Riverdale Baptist ran out the remaining seconds.

Down 4-0 early, St. Frances scored 11 of the next 12 for an 11-5 advantage and 27-23 at halftime. Riverdale Baptist gained its first lead since the game’s opening moments at 37-36 with 1:56 left in the third on Paris McBride’s free throw.

St. Frances answered with six straight, including a 3-pointer from Khalia Turner to take a 42-37 lead into the fourth. Gourdine, a junior guard, added 10 points for St. Frances.

The Panthers are back in the District region Saturday for the She Got Game Classic at the St. James Complex in Springfield, Va. St. Frances play Florida’s Lake Highland Prep, which reached the Florida Class 5A state final last season.

The Panthers will be one of nine area squads in action this weekend at one of the nation’s top early season tournaments. No. 15 Mount Carmel, John Carroll School and New Town have matches Friday while second-ranked Pallotti, No. 3 Poly, fifth-ranked Western, No. 9 Pikesville, and No. 12 Coppin Academy play Saturday.

No. 4 McDonogh School and Pallotti are in action Sunday afternoon.