It had been three-plus months since PSA’s prep boys’ basketball team last played a game. And the team that took the floor February 5-6 for games against Canterbury School was much different than the one that left the floor back on Nov. 1.
The first game back was much closer than many expected, but Nana Owusu-Anane — one of eight newcomers to PSA at the start of this semester — led the way with 17 points and 10 rebounds in an 85-83 win.
The second game was three points at the half but 26 at the end, as holdover Bryce Harris went for 10 points and 17 rebounds – 13 of those on the offensive glass – in a 101-76 win as the Mustangs improved to 4-0.
“We talked at halftime (of Saturday’s game) and it was like, ‘Come on, these guys can really cover us?’” said PSA coach Tom Espinosa, whose Mustangs led just 49-46 at half. “We were like robots. We had turnovers just swinging the ball, trying to reverse it. It was little things and we talked about attacking in the second half. I thought that was the difference in the second half. We attacked them.”
Harris said his mindset was the same after playing limited minutes and not being much of a factor Friday.
“I spoke to coach Scraba and he gave me a little pep talk and said that when I was in (Friday) I did what I was supposed to do, so that was the goal coming in the next night,” he said. “It was keep building off the little bit that I did play and keep going to my strengths. I made sure I did the little things, and the rest just takes care of itself. The mindset stayed the same, and that’s probably the biggest thing because I held myself accountable.
“The rebounding, you know, I’m a firm believer in being versatile but that is definitely one of, if not the strongest parts of my game. They didn’t box out great so it was just about making that extra effort to go get the ball.”
Said Espinosa: “We’ve been challenging Bryce to do that. He’s 6-6 with a linebacker’s body. That midrange game and hitting the offensive glass, that’s his game. If he does that, he can really bring us to that next level, and he’s going to be on the floor a lot.”
Boris Mitkin had 14 of his 18 points after halftime, Owusu-Anane had 10 points and 12 rebounds, and Darryl Simmons finished with 18 points, eight assists, and four steals in the win. Alexis Reyes and CJ Anthony chipped in with 13 points apiece in the blowout.
Friday night, Espinosa said, “was a struggle. We didn’t play particularly well, and they had a guy that just kept killing us (TJ Long, who finished with 48 and 12 made 3-pointers). Every time we thought we were going to open it up, the kid came down and hit some 3s to keep them in it.”
In addition to Owusu-Anane’s strong showing, fellow big man Elijah Hutchins-Everett finished with 16 points and six rebounds, while Leon Williams, another second-semester addition, had 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.
The Mustangs actually trailed, 63-61, early in the fourth quarter but rallied back and took a 77-67 lead with about four minutes to go on a Hutchins-Everett jumphook. The Saints climbed back in with consecutive 3-pointers but the Mustangs were able to do enough to hold them off. Canterbury sank another 3-pointer at the buzzer to account for the final margin.
Reyes finished with 15 points and five rebounds, Simmons had 12 points, and Cherif Diarra chipped in seven rebounds and a pair of blocks in the win.
Stephen Nalbandian
Sports Information Director
Putnam Science Academy


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