During the first four minutes of the City League championship game, all five of the Africentric girls basketball team’s starters scored at least one basket to help build a double-digit lead over Northland.

That trend continued as the Nubians easily dispatched the Vikings 63-22 on Feb. 8 at Columbus South to earn their fifth consecutive league title and 12th overall.

Africentric entered the game tied for overall City titles with Brookhaven, which had won 11 under current Nubians assistant coach Reggie Lee.

City-South Division champion Africentric improved to 18-4 overall while City-North champion Northland dropped to 15-7 overall after both teams won their respective divisions at 14-0.

“It feels really great to know we can go back (and win) the City championship,” Nubians junior forward Maliyah Johnson said. “It gets better every year.”

Africentric led 25-7 by halftime and extended the lead to 49-16 by the end of the third period.

Senior guard Alexia Smith and junior guard Arianna Smith both scored 10 points, Johnson and junior guard Charjae Brock both had nine points and senior post player Sakima Walker and senior guard Nyam Thornton each scored seven.

Will McKinney, who has been the program’s only coach and has led the Nubians to 14 City title game appearances in 17 seasons overall, coached while battling illness.

“To get five in a row is really special,” he said.

The Vikings have competed in 10 of the last 12 City finals, including the last five, but won their only title during that span in 2012.

Senior forward Saige Glover, who joined the program this season, and junior guard Azariah Binford both scored six points.

“You’ve got five Division I (college) players over there,” Northland coach Jaybee Bethea said. “(Africentric did) what champions do. When it’s time to turn it up, they turned it up and their players moved to another level.”

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