WHEELS held off a sustained second half rally by Thurgood Marshall Academy, topping the Panthers 81-74 in the PSAL Manhattan Borough final at Queens College on Saturday.
TMA trailed by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, but was able to narrow that deficit to just two before WHEELS went on a 10-2 run late in the fourth to close it out, taking the borough title a year after finishing as runner-up to Frederick Douglass Academy.
After holding a 20-10 advantage at the end of the first frame, the Wolves stretched it to 38-22 after Ryan Pye scored 9 straight after connecting on three consecutive 3-pointers. Justyn Huger's 3-point heave at the halftime horn brought the Panthers within 13 at 42-29.
Raheem Ragsdale's basket early in the third put WHEELS ahead 47-30 and Francis Estrella gave the Wolves their largest lead of the game at 51-33 later in the quarter.
The Panthers would answer by outscoring WHEELS 19-5 during the balance of the frame, making it 60-52 heading into the fourth.
TMA continued to chip away, as another banked 3-pointer by Huger brought the Panthers within five at 71-64, and two TMA free throws made it a two point game at 71-69 midway through the final quarter.
A steal by Garys Acevedo with 1:00 left would have given TMA possession trailing 74-70, but his momentum carried him out of bounds and his attempted save was converted by Estrella off an assist from Ragsdale, putting the Wolves ahead 76-70.
WHEELS holds off TMA 81-74 to take the #PSAL Manhattan Borough title. After trailing by as many as 18, this steal with a minute left would have given TMA possession trailing by 4. Instead, WHEELS went ahead 6 and held on. #HSBB #nycbasketball pic.twitter.com/6AZ0fkPp2T— HS Box Scores NYC (@hsboxscoresnyc) February 17, 2018
WHEELS pushed the lead to double digits again at 81-71, but yet another banked 3-pointer by Huger made it an 81-74 final.