PSA prep
team sits at
#2 in U.S.
The national prep basketball rankings came out last Tuesday for the first time this season, with the Putnam Science Academy men’s team sitting at No. 2. The Mustangs backed up that ranking with a 3-0 week that included a thrilling come-from-behind victory over the fourth-ranked team in the country.
PSA played in the National Prep Showcase at Albertus Magnus College Nov. 22-23, where nine of the top 10 teams gathered.
After slogging through a poor shooting performance to earn a win in the first game, PSA faced. No. 4 Scotland Campus, the team that knocked off the Mustangs in the national semifinals last year, the following night.
PSA rallied for a thrilling 91-88 win in that game, a game in which it trailed by as many as 14 late in the first half.
“I think we played weak in the first half, especially the first 10 minutes,” said coach Tom Espinosa. “We had a good talk at halftime and came out with a different mindset. I didn’t think they wanted to get their butts kicked for the whole 40 minutes.”
Indeed they did not. The Mustangs picked up the defense and pushed the ball in the second half, then made free throws down the stretch for the win. Marty Silvera had 16 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists in the win. Hassan Diarra had 16 points, five rebounds, and four assists while D’Maurian Williams finished with 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Mustangs (9-0), who also got 10 points from Vlad Goldin.
The previous afternoon, PSA made just 29-of-81 shots (35.8 percent) yet still came away with a 77-69 win over The Skill Factory. Silvera was again big for the Mustangs, scoring 16 of his game-high 24 points in the first half to go along with four rebounds and five assists.
 “After I missed my first one, then I hit my second, I kind of knew I was going to have a good half,” Silvera said. “I just felt it. I just kept shooting. It was going in, so I just kept my momentum and kept playing and looking to score. It was just working out.”
JuJu Murray chipped in with 16 points for the Mustangs.
On Nov. 19, Goldin scored a season-high 21 points to go along with six rebounds in a 97-87 win over Spire Academy. Williams finished with 16 points (including four 3-pointers) and five rebounds, while Diarra had 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals for the Mustangs. JuJu Murray and Elijah Everett had 10 points apiece in the win.

Prep Women
PSA’s prep women’s team split a pair of games in New Jersey last week in the team’s first game-action since Nov. 2.
The Mustangs won on Nov. 22, 47-36 over Life Center Academy, behind 16 points and 11 rebounds from Sabou Gueye. Lani Cornfield finished with 10 points and Niya Fields added eight points for the Mustangs.
A day later, PSA went to Blair Academy and dropped a 53-42 decision. Gueye was again the leading scorer, this time finishing with 14 points. Delaney Haines made her season debut and had 12 points as the team fell to 3-3.

In other PSA action, Abdul Seck had 17 of his 31 points in the first half Nov. 21, leading the boys’ varsity team to an 83-71 win over Nichols College.
“Abdul scored from all three levels,” said coach Dana Valentin. “He’s much improved from last year.” Travis Mangual added with 14 points and Zach Boulay had 11 for the Mustangs (2-1).
On Nov. 20, Erwan Menguy knocked down seven 3-pointers and finished with 38 points, but they weren’t enough for PSA’s Varsity 2 team in its season-opening 69-57 loss at Redemption Christian Academy. Michael Phav added 11 for Mustangs.
Finally, the girls’ varsity team opened its season the same day, also at Redemption, with a 70-58 loss despite 22 points and four blocks from Zanashia Croft. Alex Hutchins added nine points for PSA.
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy

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