By David Cordova
In the finale of the City Legendz Invitational, which put together teams from Baltimore to Connecticut, there was a showdown between two programs from the same borough from two different school systems.
Wings Academy (public school) faced off against Monsignor Scanlan (Catholic school) in a matchup between two of the city’s most elite players and also a matchup between two programs that are sponsored by the same sneaker brand, Jordan Brand, which is a division of Nike.
In front of a raucous crowd of over 1,000 people at the world-famous Gauchos Gym in the South Bronx, both teams showed that they had whatever it took to be competitive, all until the final buzzer. In the end, there was and could only be one winner in this matchup.
Wings 60, Monsignor Scanlan 54
From the opening tip, Wings showed their toughness early on & their ability to move the ball around for necessary shots, and led 8-2, in the first few minutes.
But then Scanlan, led by senior Saquan Singleton, cut the lead to 10-8, with four minutes left in the first quarter.
The second quarter began the same as the first, with Wings bringing their lead to thirteen, 24-11. The Crusaders then cut the deficit to six, 24-18, after a dunk by junior Gabriel Joseph-Bryan and a layup by Singleton. The competitive nature of this game brought both teams into the half, with the game tied, 26-26.
At the start of the third, Wings scored a few quick baskets to bring the lead up seven, 33-26. Throughout the quarter, even though Scanlan threatened, the Wings remained the leaders in the game.
An alley-pop dunk by Wings senior Jordan Bryan elevated the crowd and gave them a 45-42 lead with more than six minutes left in the fourth quarter. Singleton then helped give Scanlan its first lead of the game at 48-47, with 3:42 to go.
Moments later, junior Kris Volcin made a rebound and laid it up for two to give Scanlan a 54-52 lead with 1:19 left. Then Wings senior Jose Perez tied the game at 54-54 with 46.3 seconds left.
With 33.1 seconds left, sophomore Omar Rahman hit two free throws to give Wings a 56-54 lead. Then Perez made another basket with less than ten seconds left to give Wings a 58-54 lead, followed by two free throws to seal the deal.
Perez led all Wings with 21 points and senior Boubacar Kamissoko added 19 points. For Scanlan, Singleton led with 15 points and junior Gabriel Joseph-Bryan added 14 points in the loss.