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Patriots down but not out

Francis Lewis' Tyese Purvis scored 24 points against Curtis. Photo by William Thomas
TimesLedger Newspapers

The script was about to be the same as too many other games for Francis Lewis this basketball season. The Patriots started fast, but saw a big lead dwindle to just two points late in the fourth quarter against Curtis.

“We were kind of frustrated that we lost our lead,” senior forward Tyese Purvis said. “We were like we got to do this together.”

Lewis’ senior core took over from there. Purvis, Jasmine Davis and Jazmine Hamlet combined to score all 11 of their teams final points to close out a 68-61 win against the Banneker Warriors at the Kennedy Challenge in the Bronx Saturday afternoon. Purvis led all scorers with 24 points. Hamlet had 20 points and Davis 18. They credited a timeout by Coach Steve Tsai with 2:55 remaining with settling them down.

“When Tsai called a timeout, it just made everything better,” Hamlet said. “We started talking to each other and we had to get back and do what we had to do. That’s where the leadership comes in.”

The Patriots (9-7), ranked No. 6 in the PSAL by the New York Post, led by as many as 19 after the first quarter. They were ahead 45-26 with 2:22 remaining in the third quarter before the assault by the seventh-ranked Warriors (13-6).

After not scoring for the first 6:30 of the quarter, Curtis got three-pointers from Kristen Olsen (18 points) and Shannon McGill, who had 11 points, during a 10-3 spurt to end the frame to get within 48-36. Jessica Rosalbo chipped in 12 for the Warriors and Zuliet Adeniji had six points and eight rebounds. Tsai asked for time when the lead was trimmed to 57-52, but Olsen immediately hit a trey from the left side to make it 57-55 with 2:42 left in the game.

“You can’t put yourself in a hole like that, whether it’s Francis Lewis or anybody else,” Curtis Coach Bob Daggett said. “Even though we were able to get close a few times, that’s not enough.”

A 10-2 Lewis run immediately followed with Purvis finding a cutting Davis to get it started. Davis would score again on a drive, Purvis had two free throws and Hamlet scored the final four. It was a fine all-around game for Purvis, who has already visited Queens College and is checking out Stony Brook and Concordia.

“Some of the frustration we had in some of our losses started creeping up a little bit,” Tsai said. “But I think we fought through that.”

The game appeared like it might be headed for a lopsided finish early. The Patriots played one of their best quarters of the season with a 31-12 opening frame. They attacked the basket with their superior athleticism, moved the ball on offense and outrebounded the smaller Warriors. Still Lewis felt its defense was the biggest factor as the Patriots were in the passing lanes in their man-to-man defense.

“Our defense was really tight,” Pervis said.

Daggett thought despite the slow start his team wasn’t out of the game. They proved it, but they have yet to play four good quarters against a quality team. While Lewis bent and let them back in, the team never let the lead or the victory get away.”

“I’m very happy with my team,” Hamlet said. “First quarter, we was like, ‘Wow.’ I was shocked that we did that. Our hard work is paying off and for us to finish the game, that’s a good accomplishment.”

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