When Jonathan Rivera injured his ankle and leading scorer Delano Morgan was saddled with foul trouble early in the second quarter, Doug Porter didn’t take too long to decide where to go.
The South Bronx boys’ basketball coach immediately called for the two kids he spent the most time with during the fall – reserve forwards Luis Sanchez and Raymond Norman.
The two, who were integral parts of the school’s football team – Porter was an assistant coach – that enjoyed a perfect regular season, going 9-0, before falling short in the playoffs, contributed to the Phoenix’s 72-59 upset of No. 3 Truman.
Norman, who was South Bronx’s star running back, had eight points and five assists and Sanchez, a dynamic wide receiver, added seven points, nine rebounds and four assists.
“Those two guys really stepped up when we needed them,” Porter said.
Junior Dashawn Joyner led South Bronx with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, Elijah Huggins added 12 and Akeeme Jennings had 11 points and 11 rebounds. He shut down Truman star Brandon Stolz, limiting him to 14 points, with help from Norman. “Anytime you can beat an ‘AA’ team, especially a quality ‘AA,’ it gives you a lot of confidence,” Porter said.
The frenetic Phoenix (22-4) blew the game open in the second quarter, out-scoring the Mustangs 24-10. They held Truman to a pair of 10-point quarters, a rarity for the defensive-challenged team that relies on scoring close to the century mark.
The win sets up an interesting match-up against No. 2 Wings, like South Bronx a speedy, guard-oriented team that runs up and down. It should be 32 minutes of fastbreaks, 3-pointers and few long possessions.