P.S. 91 Tigers win the A.S.A.P championship!
By Mr. Pagan, P.S.91x
The hopeful P.S. 91 Tigers made the trek, via subway, to P.S. 280 on Friday, May 19 and came back to P.S. 91 with the A.S.A.P. championship trophy in their hands. The A.S.A.P. championship game did not disappoint and P.S. 91 came out on top in a nail-biter. The first half was dominated by the Tigers thanks to their superior speed, aggressive individual defense, and accurate shooting. P.S. 280 had trouble scoring the basket and the Tigers capitalized by rebounding the ball and continuously out-running their opponents to the hoop for easy layups.
Despite their lack of shot-making, P.S. 280 played very well as a team. They moved the ball on offense and played terrific half-court defense. Every time the Tigers were unable to steal the ball from their opponents or outrun them to the basket, the strong P.S. 280 team defense prevented them from scoring. However, they could not score enough themselves and the P.S. 91 Tigers built a 9 point lead in the final minutes of the first half. Although P.S. 280 went on a 4-0 run, the P.S. 91 Tigers were able to win the first half by 5 points.
The second half was a completely different game. P.S. 280 stopped moving the ball on offense. Instead they gave the ball to their best shot-maker and put him in pick and roll situations to help him create a shot for himself. The strategy worked on multiple levels. First, they were able to score more points- even getting one point away from tying the game with 5 minutes left. Secondly, by eliminating the passing, they were able to stop P.S. 91's deflections and steals. Every P.S. 280 possession in the second half seemed to end with either a score, a trip to the foul line, or a dribbling turnover (mostly ball carrying) . P.S. 280’s best shot-maker was not their best ball handler but by making him the primary ball handler, (and taking away the passing) they successfully ended P.S. 91’s fast-break game. Every basket made, foul shot attempted, and dribbling violation gave P.S. 280 the time it needed to set up their suffocating half-court defense. P.S. 91 was unable to score for over 4 minutes but they were able to stop P.S. 280's momentum with some very solid defense of their own. The game was up for grabs until a timely jump-shot by Gianny gave the Tigers a 3 point lead and some much needed breathing room.
With one minute left in the game and still down three points, P.S. 280 decided to foul on every possession to prevent the Tigers from running out the clock. The strategy backfired as Donte, Mershel, and Maurice were able to score enough free throws to maintain the Tigers' lead. In the end, the Tigers won the game because they were able to make their free throws, make the necessary passes, and dribble the ball without turning it over. They proved that mastering the fundamentals wins championships.