The Susan Wagner boys' basketball team once again showed its ability to rise to the occasion when a big game, and its season, is on the line Tuesday at home.
Just like last week's PSAL A playoff victory, the No. 4-seeded Falcons were trailing heading into the fourth quarter. But another stretch of heroics from senior guard Nicholas Taylor and a barrage of three-pointers from Bleron Lata lifted SW over No. 13 Telecommunications, 63-61, to advance to the quarterfinals.
"We never give up," said Taylor who led the Falcons with 34 points. "We make sure we fight to the end no matter the score. This was a great win because we were all fired up, this was the last home game here so we needed to come out with the win."
SW is set to face the winner of Wednesday's game between No. 5 Lehman and No. 21 Erasmus Saturday at 11 a.m.
"It's very rare when you're a senior and you can end your home career with a win," said coach Joseph Coscia. "And they did so they went out with a win on their home court so I'm very happy for them.
"We have to get back in the gym and we have to clean up some things. We have to box out, close out the shooters a little better at times, watch some film, prepare and go from there."
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Taylor gets the honor for his huge offensive performance. He hit six three-pointers and scored 13 points in the fourth quarter including a three-pointer that tied the game for the first time since the first quarter.
"He wanted the ball, we called a couple plays for other kids, but he was feeling it," said Coscia. "That's what seniors do and that's what leaders do and we gave it to him and he made plays."
After Taylor tied the game at the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter, Lata started heating up from deep. The sophomore knocked down three three-pointers, two of which put the Falcons ahead and the third gave SW a four-point lead.
"He comes in off the bench guns blazing," said Coscia. "If he's open he's knocking it down, he's one of the best shooters in the city and he's only getting better. He works hard and he deserves everything he gets."
Lata finished the game with 15 points, all on three-pointers.
Tahshon Moore led Telecommunications with 29 points, including three three-pointers and Roud Civil contributed with 13 points.