Putnam pg 9 1-31-19

Prep Boys
Prep School Basketball is a long season with multiple games in a week and not too much time to rest and prepare for the next challenge. This past week was very different than what the Putnam Science Academy Prep Mustangs are used to.
After having one day to prepare for a talented MacDuffie team last Sunday which resulted in a 79-59 win, the team — fewer than 24 hours later — was back on the road heading to New York to face Our Savior Lutheran in the Big Apple Invitational.
PSA ground out a 70-63 win in a game where PSA’s big men got in foul trouble and careless turnovers in the first half led to them trailing at the break before turning it around in the second half.
Guard play has been phenomenal for Putnam Science Academy this season and when they needed it most, the guards stepped up. Tyson Etienne continues to be a true point guard and leader in his first year at PSA finishing with 20 points and adding five assists. His backcourt running mate Hassan Diarra has propelled his game this season as he had 12 points and 12 rebounds to help the Mustangs move to 24-0.
Bryant University-commit Charles Pride, 6-feet, 4-inches, was later named the Big Apple Invitational MVP doing it all with 13 points, 12 rebounds and was a menace on the defensive end with five steals. The Mustangs extend their impressive winning streak to 48 games and now have a full week to recharge and get ready for a home contest vs Hoosac. Then they hit the road against Capital Prep Harbor and appear in the National Prep School Invitational later in the week at Rhode Island College.
Varsity Mustangs
The Varsity Mustangs have had an up and down season under first-year Head Coach Dana Valentine. A team with 3 players listed at 6-4 and a roster filled with guards, the lack of size has come back to haunt the Varsity team this season.
After a 4-0 start to the season, the Mustangs found themselves at 9-7 losing by double digits to Redemption Christian Academy on the road. That’s when Valentine pointed out that things needed to change. “We weren’t playing as a team and you could see that some of the guys were frustrated” Valentine said. “We had some big games coming up on the schedule and so I held a very spirited and emotional practice. I needed to see what these guys were made of.” The Mustangs answered the call and have since won four straight games, including three in a row on the road this past week. PSA blew out Capital Prep Harbor 107-71 and then won at the buzzer over Mitchell College 67-66 thanks to a mid-range jumper by Jaiden Rivera to clinch the win. The next day, PSA traveled to Our Savior Lutheran in New York and showed toughness holding on for an 80-75 win in large part to Tyler Henry’s monster game of 28 points. Henry would dominate in a follow up performance scoring a game-high 29 points in a 74-67 road win over New York Military Academy to help the Varsity team move to 13-7. PSA will play again next Sunday at home vs Post University.
Prep Lady Mustangs
It’s been quite the stretch run for the Prep Lady Mustangs of Putnam Science Academy this past week. Dropping a close 45-43 game vs nationally ranked Crestwood of Canada, in a game where the Mustangs had a shot at the buzzer but failed to knock it down.
The ladies then went to New York to play in The Mecca tournament vs Westridge Academy and DME Sports Academy in back-to-back games. Westridge made key plays late and defeated the Mustangs 52-47 but PSA didn’t go down without a fight. Fatima Lee led the way with 17 points and Xianna Josephs has played well for Putnam Science Academy this second half of the season stepping up with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Even with that tough loss that saw the Mustangs drop two games in a row, the team rallied and bounced back with an impressive performance over DME to win 60-52 splitting the weekend tournament. Josephs went off for 17 points and added six rebounds while Lee scored 12 points and Niya Fields made an impact with 10 points in a much needed win. The Mustangs snapped the two-game losing streak and are now 14-4 on the season.
Josh Sanchas
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


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