Wings Academy has relied heavily on its two Division I signees all season. Help will be needed however if the Wings want to accomplish its post-season goals. Sophomore wing Jose Perez, provided all the assistance needed against a game Kennedy team in the borough final.
He netted 15 points and helped relieve the defensive pressure on Georgetown-bound center Jessie Govan during a 68-53 victory in the PSAL Bronx boys’ basketball final at Queens College last Saturday afternoon. Govan scored a game-high 20 points and Buie netted 16 points, including three 3-pointers.
“He’s really important,” Govan said. “He’s that X-factor. He can go off for 15 to 20 points every game. We expect that out of him and he did that today.”
The game was far different from the teams’ first two meetings, which Wings won by a combined 79 points. That, however, was expected if you asked anyone on the Wings bench. Kennedy shot the ball extremely well in the first half behind Isaac Arhin (17 points) and Afful Pani, who had 13. Kennedy led 32-28 with 3:15 to go before he break.
“We expected it,” Perez said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game because we be beat them by 40 twice.”
Wings (22-2) went on a 9-2 run, fueled by two Buie threes to take a 37-34 advantage into the half. Wings kept the momentum going after the break by opening the third quarter with a 12-5 run. Buie buried a trey right in front of the Wings bench to put his team up 51-39 with 1:51 to play in the third quarter.
“We just had to stay under control, stay poised and make our run right back and we did that, “Govan said.
Despite the defeat, longtime Kennedy coach Johnny Mathis feels confident in his continually improving team heading into the playoffs. The Knights (12-9) finished third in Bronx AA and beat Evander Childs to reach the final.
“We went to sleep in the second half,” Mathis said “The first three minutes of the second half we went to sleep. If we keep progressing we will be already.”
Wings and its seniors want to finally progress to the PSAL Class AA title game for the first time in school history and bring home the crown. Wings coach Billy Turnage said his team hasn’t spoken of its quarterfinal loss after the turn of the New Year, but he knows its always there as motivation, especially for the seniors.
“Nobody can put more pressure on us than us,” Turnage said. “That’s just what it is. As long we want it and continue to do what we do and be disciplined on defense I think we got a great shot at it.”