Mustangs show fight as season comes to end
By Marc Raimondi
Truman’s season came to an end Thursday in a 55-46 loss to Manhattan Center in the PSAL Class AA girls bas-ketball second round in East Harlem. But there was some solace taken in defeat, if not a moral victory.
“I feel terrible, my girls feel terrible, but you get over it a lot quicker when you know in your heart that you did your best,” Mustangs coach John Burke said.
Things could have been much worse for No. 10 Truman (12-11). No. 7 Manhat-tan Center (15-10) was a motivated group after falling to the Mustangs two weeks ago in both teams’ regular-season finale.
“When there’s an upset like that, the next time the two teams play the favorite generally murders the other team,” Burke said.
That certainly wasn’t the case Thurs-day. Actually, Truman had a chance to win in the fourth quarter, down just 47-44 after a pair of Nijee Scott free throws with 1:40 left. But Manhattan Center, perhaps showing its big game experience, made all the plays the rest of the way. The Mus-tangs lost a major piece when sophomore forward Krystal Pearson fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
“We’re not deep, but we have a lot of heart,” Burke said. “It’s a credit to my girls.”
Scott had 14 points, Nijah Townsend had 13 points and Unique Williams added nine. Those three, along with Mary Lib-bett, will be attending college on scholar-ships next year, which was the most im-portant thing, Burke said.
“They’re all going into excellent situa-tions,” he said.
It was a solid year for the Mustangs despite losing star forward Kaydine Bent, who now plays at Saint Peter’s College. They beat Manhattan Center and went to overtime twice with John F. Kennedy, the last time a four-OT thriller. Burke feels like Truman has established itself firmly as one of the top-10 programs in the PSAL.
“The proof,” he said, “is in the pud-ding.”