ALBANY – Shenendehowa’s defensive game plan was rightfully focused on stopping Wings’ Georgetown-bound center Jessie Govan, who has carried his team to the state Federation tournament. In doing so, Wings coach Billy Turnage said it was almost disrespectful how open the Plainsmen left Hofstra-bound point guard Desure Buie.
The senior just shrugged it off and constantly reminded Shenendehowa it can’t and shouldn’t forget about him.
“It really didn’t matter to me. If they didn’t guard me I was going to make them pay,” Buie said. “So it didn’t matter to me.”
He scored a game-high 25 points, including six 3-pointers, and sparked a key fourth quarter run to push Wings past Shenendehowa 44-35 in the New York State Federation Class AA boys’ basketball semifinals at UAlbany’s SEFCU Arena on March 27. Wings advances to face two-time defending champion Christ the King in the final 9 p.m. today.
“I explained to him the way they were playing Jessie you have to make shots,” said Turnage of his message to Buie. “You can’t be hesitant. Come off and knock the damn thing down.”
Buie took care of things on offense on a night were Govan scored just three points against a big a physical Shenendehowa team. The Wings (27-2) second leading scorer was Jose Perez with six points. The Bronx school didn’t need a big offensive output because of the job its defense, led by senior Randy Corporan did.
“I tell my guys all the time whenever we are struggling offensively we can never let down defensively,” Turnage said. “I thought tonight our defense was outstanding.”
Corporan held Plainsmen senior guard Kevin Huerter to just nine points. Six of those came on two fourth quarter three pointers. Turnage said Corporan thrives when asked to shut down opponent’s star. There is nothing fancy about Corporan’s approach.
“You tell me to guard somebody and lock them down from scoring that’s what I am going to do,” Corporan said. “That my role.”
The one time he let Huerter get free Shenendehowa (25-1) pulled within 33-31 with 4:00 to go in the game. Wings responded with a quick 6-0 run and continued to make free throws to close out the game. It shot 15 of 17 from the charity stripe in the contest despite take a majority of them staring at a rowdy Shenendehowa student section.
Wings hopes to be the one going crazy tomorrow celebrating the program’s first Federation crown.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Corporan said. “It doesn’t matter who we play. We are just going to come out and play hard just like we played today, or even harder.”